Special Report

COVID-19: This Is the Worst Hot Spot in Mississippi

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The U.S. has reported more than 36.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases as of August 17, 2021. More than 610,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 — the highest death toll of any country.

The virus has spread throughout the country in a way that has been difficult to predict, surging in one region, then showing signs of improvement, and then reappearing in other regions. Though local outbreaks may ebb and flow, the current surge in cases has been felt nearly nationwide, leading to new travel restrictions and business closures around the country.

Nationwide, there were an average of 37.9 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans in the week ending August 17, 2021. Cumulatively, the U.S. has reported 11,170.9 cases per 100,000 Americans, and 188.5 deaths per 100,000 Americans.

The extent of the spread of the novel coronavirus continues to vary considerably from state to state, and even from county to county. Even as the number of daily new cases is flattening or even declining in some parts of the country, new cases are surging at a growing rate in others.

The coronavirus has spread to different parts of the country in different stages throughout the pandemic. In the spring, the worst hit states were in the Northeast, as New York City became the epicenter of the nation’s crisis. The virus spread to states throughout the Sun Belt in the summer, and hit states in the Midwest and West during the fall. By November 2020, nearly every state was categorized as a COVID-19 hot spot, according to definitions based on new cases per capita from the nonprofit health organization Kaiser Family Foundation.

In Mississippi, there were an average of 98.1 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents in the week ending August 17, 2021. The Mississippi case growth rate ranks as the 3rd highest of all 50 states.

While the nation’s largest counties were hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic, nearly every county has suffered from the coronavirus. Outbreaks can occur quickly in places where large numbers of people tend to congregate, leaving counties with colleges, correctional facilities, and nursing homes particularly at risk.

In Neshoba County, there were an average of 271.9 new confirmed cases per day per 100,000 residents in the week ending August 17, 2021 — the highest rate of any county in Mississippi. Since the pandemic began, the county has reported 5,263 confirmed cases, or 17,916.0 cases per 100,000.

There have been 182 deaths, or 619.6 deaths per 100,000 residents.

To determine the county in each state with the highest rate of daily cases of the virus, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked counties according to the average new number of cases per 100,000 residents per day during the week ending August 17, 2021. Population data used to adjust case and death totals came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates.

These are all the counties in Mississippi where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).

No. County Population New daily cases per 100,000 Total cases Total deaths Cases per 100,000 Deaths per 100,000
1 Neshoba County 29,376 271.9 5,263 182 17,916.0 619.6
2 Stone County 18,375 174.1 2,731 38 14,862.6 206.8
3 George County 23,710 170.9 3,246 54 13,690.4 227.8
4 Wayne County 20,422 170.2 3,163 47 15,488.2 230.1
5 Forrest County 75,517 159.2 10,371 169 13,733.3 223.8
6 Covington County 19,091 151.8 3,333 86 17,458.5 450.5
7 Lamar County 61,223 149.6 8,274 94 13,514.5 153.5
8 Harrison County 202,626 144.3 24,410 345 12,046.8 170.3
9 Newton County 21,524 142.4 3,017 65 14,016.9 302.0
10 Jackson County 142,014 135.8 17,861 264 12,576.9 185.9
11 Tippah County 21,990 132.4 3,484 71 15,843.6 322.9
12 Lauderdale County 77,323 129.1 9,199 249 11,896.8 322.0
13 Attala County 18,581 123.8 2,564 75 13,799.0 403.6
14 Pearl River County 55,149 120.2 6,121 160 11,099.0 290.1
15 Webster County 9,828 117.5 1,375 32 13,990.6 325.6
16 Jasper County 16,529 116.4 2,573 48 15,566.6 290.4
17 Jones County 68,454 115.7 10,165 174 14,849.4 254.2
18 Hancock County 46,653 113.7 5,018 90 10,756.0 192.9
19 Leake County 22,870 112.1 3,193 77 13,961.5 336.7
20 Lowndes County 59,437 105.3 7,907 154 13,303.2 259.1
21 Jefferson Davis County 11,495 104.9 1,324 35 11,518.1 304.5
22 Greene County 13,714 97.6 1,586 38 11,564.8 277.1
23 Union County 28,356 96.7 4,701 79 16,578.5 278.6
24 Kemper County 10,107 95.7 1,146 31 11,338.7 306.7
25 Prentiss County 25,360 95.5 3,295 64 12,992.9 252.4
26 Lawrence County 12,630 93.4 1,587 27 12,565.3 213.8
27 Lee County 84,915 92.0 11,759 184 13,848.0 216.7
28 Clarke County 15,928 91.6 2,068 81 12,983.4 508.5
29 Clay County 19,808 91.6 2,230 55 11,258.1 277.7
30 Marion County 25,202 89.7 3,171 85 12,582.3 337.3
31 Amite County 12,468 86.4 1,519 44 12,183.2 352.9
32 Scott County 28,415 83.2 3,742 78 13,169.1 274.5
33 Oktibbeha County 49,481 83.0 5,518 99 11,151.8 200.1
34 Calhoun County 14,571 82.6 1,991 33 13,664.1 226.5
35 Monroe County 35,840 81.3 4,728 138 13,192.0 385.0
36 Itawamba County 23,480 80.5 3,396 82 14,463.4 349.2
37 Perry County 12,028 77.9 1,471 39 12,229.8 324.2
38 Pike County 39,737 75.2 4,075 116 10,254.9 291.9
39 Benton County 8,253 75.2 1,156 25 14,007.0 302.9
40 Warren County 47,075 74.7 5,192 128 11,029.2 271.9
41 Walthall County 14,601 74.5 1,616 51 11,067.7 349.3
42 Yalobusha County 12,421 74.4 1,844 41 14,845.8 330.1
43 Alcorn County 37,180 73.8 3,919 75 10,540.6 201.7
44 Smith County 16,063 73.4 1,973 37 12,282.9 230.3
45 Choctaw County 8,321 73.1 912 19 10,960.2 228.3
46 Winston County 18,358 72.0 2,512 85 13,683.4 463.0
47 Rankin County 151,240 71.2 17,004 301 11,243.1 199.0
48 Bolivar County 32,592 70.7 5,241 137 16,080.6 420.3
49 Grenada County 21,278 70.6 2,890 89 13,582.1 418.3
50 Chickasaw County 17,279 69.3 2,349 60 13,594.5 347.2
51 Montgomery County 10,198 69.2 1,419 46 13,914.5 451.1
52 Simpson County 27,073 69.0 3,488 95 12,883.7 350.9
53 Adams County 31,547 68.0 3,759 90 11,915.6 285.3
54 Carroll County 10,129 67.7 1,347 31 13,298.4 306.1
55 Lafayette County 53,459 67.0 7,012 127 13,116.6 237.6
56 Noxubee County 10,828 66.3 1,449 36 13,382.0 332.5
57 Yazoo County 27,974 66.3 3,620 79 12,940.6 282.4
58 Hinds County 241,774 64.6 26,196 473 10,834.9 195.6
59 Pontotoc County 31,315 64.5 4,777 76 15,254.7 242.7
60 Wilkinson County 8,990 64.2 870 33 9,677.4 367.1
61 Marshall County 35,787 63.8 4,977 106 13,907.3 296.2
62 Leflore County 29,804 62.7 3,890 127 13,051.9 426.1
63 Holmes County 18,075 61.1 2,159 75 11,944.7 414.9
64 Copiah County 28,721 56.9 3,514 70 12,235.0 243.7
65 Sunflower County 26,532 56.7 3,682 95 13,877.6 358.1
66 DeSoto County 176,132 56.6 24,662 288 14,002.0 163.5
67 Jefferson County 7,346 55.8 775 29 10,550.0 394.8
68 Madison County 103,498 55.5 11,789 235 11,390.6 227.1
69 Franklin County 7,757 55.2 934 24 12,040.7 309.4
70 Tishomingo County 19,478 53.1 2,515 70 12,912.0 359.4
71 Coahoma County 23,802 52.3 3,297 86 13,851.8 361.3
72 Sharkey County 4,511 52.0 547 19 12,125.9 421.2
73 Quitman County 7,372 51.8 904 20 12,262.6 271.3
74 Claiborne County 9,120 47.4 1,115 31 12,225.9 339.9
75 Issaquena County 1,328 46.1 179 6 13,478.9 451.8
76 Tunica County 10,170 43.5 1,229 27 12,084.6 265.5
77 Panola County 34,243 43.3 5,010 112 14,630.7 327.1
78 Humphreys County 8,539 42.5 1,063 33 12,448.8 386.5
79 Lincoln County 34,432 40.2 4,400 118 12,778.8 342.7
80 Washington County 47,086 37.8 5,846 141 12,415.6 299.5
81 Tallahatchie County 14,361 34.8 1,910 45 13,299.9 313.3
82 Tate County 28,493 28.0 3,630 88 12,740.0 308.8

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