JACKSON (AP) – Mississippi overtook New Jersey as the state with the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, with about 1 in 320 Mississippi people succumbing to the coronavirus.
In Adams County, 114 people have died and 4,219 cases have been reported since monitoring of the pandemic began.
The state’s top health official said this week that the number of new cases of the virus is still “way above what we would like to see,” and warned more deaths would follow.
“We are registering well over 2,500 (cases) a day in recent days, far more than we would like to see,” said Dr Thomas Dobbs, head of public health. “Much of this is going to translate into tragedy. ”
Since the start of the pandemic, at least 9,165 people in Mississippi have died from the virus. The state has a population of around 3 million and has had one of the worst vaccination rates in the country.
Pregnant women were of particular concern during the Mississippi Delta Variants wave, Dobbs said. During the pandemic, 15 pregnant women in Mississippi died from the coronavirus, according to the Department of Health. Eight of these deaths occurred between July 25 and September 16.
The age range of deceased mothers was between 23 and 40, with the median age being 30. Dobbs said 60% were black. None of the women were fully immunized. A woman had received her first injection.
As for the health issues, “some were overweight, but the majority of Mississippians are too, so I don’t think that’s much of a surprise,” Dobbs said. Mississippi had the highest rate of adult obesity in 2020, at 39.7%, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dobbs said babies are also at risk.