Mississippi sets 2 COVID-19 records as Delta variant continues

MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi set two COVID-19 records on Tuesday, as the summer surge fueled by the Delta variant continues.

According to state data, there were 3,488 new cases reported Tuesday. That’s the most ever reported on a single day. The previous record was 3,255 on Jan. 7 at the height of the winter surge.

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The 7-day average of new cases is also at a record high. Tuesday’s average of 2,639.9 tops the previous high of 2,431.6 on Jan. 10. That means Tuesday’s average is 8.6% higher than the previous record.

Meanwhile, vaccination uptake continues to lag in the Magnolia State. As of Monday’s report, fewer than 43% of Mississippians had received at least one shot of the three available vaccines. Fewer than 36% are fully vaccinated.

In all the state has reported 368,549 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. That means about 12% of the state’s population has tested positive. The state has also reported 7,685 deaths from COVID-19. That’s 2.1% of all positive cases in Mississippi.

Also, Mississippi reported today 1,410 people hospitalized. That’s fifth most all time:

  • 1,444 (Jan. 6)
  • 1,433 (Jan. 7)
  • 1,419 (Jan. 9)
  • 1,413 (Jan. 8)
  • 1,410 (today)

Panola Medical Center’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Ware said the Delta variant has been rough.

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”We are seeing an uptick in all the Covid cases that we have coming through the ER. " Ware said.

According to Ware, at one point this weekend every bed available for treating a COVID patient was full.

”Over the weekend we had 12 COVID patients,” Ware said. “We have a 17-bed med surge unit and 12 of those beds are for COVIDpatients. We have a respiratory wing for COVID patients. At one point, we were almost to the point where we had to double up the patients in the rooms. We didn’t have to do that but that was part of our plan.”

We reached out to the governor’s office to see if there is a plan to reduce COVID case numbers around the state.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office only said the governor has no intention to put a mask mandate in place.

In the meantime, Ware said the backup plan is to double up COVID patients if need be.

” It’s very critical. Like I said over the weekend we were to the point where we were going to have to start doubling up COVID patients and it’s not ideal,” Ware said.

As COVID cases increase to numbers higher than they have ever been, FOX13 has been talking to north Mississippians about what they are doing to protect themselves.

Panola County’s Sara Belle Wright said she and her daughter have been vaccinated, but they aren’t taking any chances. They wear their masks wherever they go.

”Well I think we need to keep them on because we meet a lot of different people and we don’t know if they have had their shot or not,” Wright said. “We don’t ask or find out because we are just around them. We need to keep our mask on.”

According to a lot of people we have spoken to in north Mississippi, the Delta variant has scared a lot of people into wearing the mask.

”Yessir because I see them driving down the road with their mask on and it’s just them and their family,” Wright said.

Governor Tate Reeves’s office said the governor has no intention of issuing a mask mandate.

Patrick Shegog of Panola County said he’s had COVID and he survived it. He wasn’t sure how he felt about a mask mandate.

”I think it helps but making it mandatory, I think I am fifty-fifty on that because I wear mine; sometimes we don’t,” Shegog said. “I think yeah we need them.”


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