Mississippi is the only state currently considered a “Red Zone,” where daily new cases surpass 25 per 100,000 residents, according to a Harvard Global Health initiative COVID-19 tracker.
Other states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, and California are seeing higher total case counts due to their larger populations. But the infection rates in Mississippi are higher per capita compared to these populated states.
Mississippi had reached a total of 77,894 cases and 2,240 deaths, as of Sunday afternoon. Cases have decreased over the past two weeks in the state, but Mississippi officials have warned the public that a new surge might be on its way.
The state health officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health, Thomas Dobbs, MD, MPH, said he expects an even more severe surge this week.
Dobbs said this was due to schools, colleges, and “really, really bad judgment coming together.” This could be dangerous in counties with high infection rates. Some Mississippi counties have already topped 100 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.
“A lot of the outbreaks we’re seeing at the high schools is because the parents are hosting parties. Senior parties, groups, spend-the-night parties. I don’t know why this doesn’t scare people, but it’s illegal,” Dobbs said in a report.