December’s COVID-19 numbers show ever-worsening situation
Published 4:47 pm Thursday, December 31, 2020
In the months-long fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, December offered a dose of good news alongside a record amount of bad.
In its final report of the month, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced Thursday 51 new COVID-19 cases in Warren County, bringing the number reported during December to 956 cases. That figure made December the worst month thus far in the pandemic. The previous high had been 521 cases reported in July.
In fact, the number of cases confirmed in December was far more than the total number of cases reported in August, September, October and November — combined (841).
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December also saw 21 reported deaths connected to the virus, a figure that tied August as the deadliest months of the pandemic.
And all of this came at a time when the COVID-19 vaccine was starting to be administered to Vicksburg and Warren County first responders and frontline medical personnel.
It is expected that residents of the area’s nursing homes will be among the next to get the vaccine, but that is likely still weeks away.
The new cases have also put a significant strain on the state’s healthcare industry, with the number of hospitalizations related to the virus reaching new highs. Locally, officials at Merit Health River Region reported a number of times during the month that the virus was testing the limits of the hospital’s intensive care capabilities.
The surge in cases correlated with the Thanksgiving holiday, and healthcare officials are worried the Christmas and New Year’s holiday activities will only worsen the already lofty numbers.
Since Warren County’s first case was reported on March 29, the county has now reported 2,743 cases and a total of 78 deaths.