The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 2,326 new COVID-19 cases on July 19, further documenting the hold the Delta variant has on the state and the threat it poses to the unvaccinated.
Commenting on the spike in cases and hospitalizations, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs tweeted Monday morning: “Very sad indeed. Didn’t have to be this way. 4th wave is here.” Delta currently represents nearly all COVD-19 circulating in Mississippi.
There are 231 confirmed cases of the new Delta variant, but those only represent a small surveillance sample, so it is undoubtedly a small fraction of the Delta infections in the state.
The surge of Delta infections Mississippi is experiencing is already hitting hospitals and ICUs. Between July 5 and July 18, hospitalizations increased 154%, from 145 to 369. The number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs has increased 257% over the same period, from 35 to 125.
The Delta variant, first identified in India, is believed to be about 60% more contagious than the Alpha variant and up to twice as contagious as the original strain of COVID-19, and is now also the dominant variant across the United States.
Nationally, the average number of new cases has started to trend upwards due to localized Delta outbreaks in places such as Mississippi with low vaccination rates.
Get more information on Covid-19 in Mississippi here.