Covid vaccinations greater than double in Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama

A man will be vaccinated against COVID-19 at a vaccination festival in New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, on May 28, 2021.

Lan Wei | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

More and more people who were once hesitant in several southern states are now getting their first vaccinations as the Delta-Covid variant is tearing through areas of the United States with low vaccination rates.

Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama have more than doubled the seven-day average of daily first-doses reported since early July, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows, as the outbreak worsened nationwide.

Over the same period, the average daily case number is unvaccinated from about 13,000 per day across the country to about 94,000 per day on the 4th.

“Americans are clearly seeing the effects of not being vaccinated and unprotected, and they are responding by doing their part, rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated,” White House Covid Tsar Jeff Zients said Thursday to reporters.

In Arkansas, which has the third worst outbreak in the country, based on new cases per capita every day, vaccinations nearly tripled. On July 1, the state administered a seven-day average of 2,893 first doses in the arms, which, according to a CNBC analysis of CDC data, represented new people receiving their first shots. By August 4, that number shot to a seven-day average of 8,585 first doses per day.

Mississippi, which saw the country’s fourth worst eruption, rose 109% through the 4th.

Louisiana is experiencing the worst per capita outbreak of new Covid cases in the country, recording hospital admissions after the Delta variant targeted the state’s mostly unvaccinated population.

The state governor has reintroduced a mask mandate until at least September 1 to slow down the transmission. Although, despite the recent surge in vaccinations, Louisiana still ranks fifth lowest in the country when it comes to fully vaccinated residents at 37.2%.

Behind Louisiana is Arkansas with 37% of the fully vaccinated population, Wyoming with 36.7%, Mississippi with 34.8% and Alabama with 34.6%, according to CDC data.

Covid cases with serious consequences are also increasing, according to US officials. The seven-day average of daily hospital admissions is up 41% from a week, with the average daily death toll up 39%, said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Thursday.

Studies have shown that the Delta variant, unlike the original Covid strain, is much more transmissible and requires two doses of vaccine to give the body a chance to fight against infection and severe symptoms.

“Even if someone decided to get the vaccine today, it will be some time before their body and immune system are able to cope with it,” said Gigi Gronvall, immunologist and senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Safety, said CNBC. “You want to make sure you aren’t exposed before your body has a chance to turn the virus off.”

Still, residents in severely affected states who start vaccinating will help slow the spread of the virus sooner rather than later and could prevent future hospitalizations and deaths.

Patients of different ages hospitalized with Covid in states like Missouri, Florida, Arkansas and Louisiana express their regret and ask their communities to get vaccinated after initially not receiving the vaccination.

Overall, the US reported an average of about 677,000 daily vaccinations last week (as of August 4), an 11% increase over the previous week.

The number of first vaccine doses increases faster than the overall rate. According to the CDC, an average of about 446,000 first doses were given daily for the past seven days, 17% more than the week before.

Mississippi well being officers plead with aged to keep away from mass indoor gatherings as delta Covid variant rips via state

Medical staff from the Delta Health Center will be waiting on Jan.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Mississippi state health officials issued new guidelines Friday urging state residents over 65 and immunocompromised residents, vaccinated or unvaccinated, to avoid indoor mass gatherings for the next two weeks “significant transfer” of the Delta variant in the coming weeks.

The new policy is valid until July 26th and is not mandatory. Instead, the guidelines should be viewed as a recommendation.

“We do not recommend mandates. What we do is provide personal recommendations to people who are at high risk of serious consequences, ”said Dr. Mississippi State Health Commissioner Thomas Dobbs during a news conference Friday. “We don’t want anyone to die unnecessarily.”

Dobbs said he currently “doesn’t expect” the guidelines to be extended to other age groups in the future.

Officials said they are starting to see significant transmission of the Delta variant, very reminiscent of what was seen in the early days of the pandemic. Mississippi state health epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers, highlighted church groups, school and summer programs, funeral meetings and workplaces, and long-term care facilities as areas where officials are already seeing spikes in infection.

“We saw right away that they were the result of the Delta variant, and the broadcast … was pretty significant,” Byers said at the news conference on Friday.

The state is second to last of all states after Alabama when it comes to the percentage of the population who are fully vaccinated with two doses. About 25% of Mississippi population aged 65 and over are still unvaccinated and make up the majority of Covid deaths in the state. State health officials also said they are also seeing deaths in vaccinated residents “because we keep exposing them,” Dobbs said, although the percentage is tiny.

Zoom In Icon Arrows pointing outwards

The graph shows cases, hospital admissions, and deaths of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in Mississippi from June 3 to July 1, 2021.

Mississippi State Department of Health

Mississippi ranks last in the country for the percentage of adults with at least one Covid vaccination, and the state also ranks last in the country for the percentage of residents 12 years and older with at least one vaccination.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a miraculous spike in our vaccination rate in the next few weeks, so people are going to die unnecessarily,” warned Dobbs.

State health officials asked vaccinated residents to speak to others about their experiences with the vaccine in order to raise awareness of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccinations.

“Let people know, let your family know, let your neighbors know, let your friends know,” Dobbs said. “There is no stronger message than trust and trust to let people know how widespread the vaccine is and understand that people are safe and happy to be protected.”

Newport hopes 3M cash pays for Mississippi entry – Twin Cities

Newport wants a closer relationship with the Mississippi and turns to 3M for help.

The city is considering a package of river-friendly proposals – buying an island, removing a dam, adding boat docks, and building two riverside parks.

But Newport will need part of the $ 850 million settlement from a 3M lawsuit, according to city manager Deb Hill.

“We couldn’t do this alone,” said Hill.

The city council discussed the proposals in a workshop on Thursday. Hill said the proposals are preliminary and there are no cost estimates or timetables for the work yet.

The proposal involves the purchase of an undeveloped 22-acre island west of Cedar Lane, which a nonprofit called Peacebunny Island bought for $ 35,000 in 2018. The proposal contained no potential improvements for the island.

A new park would be built across Cedar Lane across from the island.

To do this, a dike built in 1965 would have to be breached so that the floodwater can flow into an area of ​​around one block.

The city would buy and demolish the last home on the flood plain – a two-story home at 1651 Cedar Lane. The city is seeking help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in purchasing this home, which has an estimated market value of $ 341,000.

The park would have a canoe and kayak launch and parking for up to 10 vehicles.

South of that park, near Ninth Street, another park would be built on a lot called Mill Pond.

This park would have a deck for fishing and parking for 10 cars. The new park would include the historic Mississippi survey on 10th Street, which would be expanded and improved.

3M paid $ 850 million in 2018 to resolve an environmental damage lawsuit. The attorney general accused 3M chemicals of harming the environment when they spilled from landfills to groundwater and river water in the area.

Of the $ 850 million, $ 20 million was earmarked for improving “outdoor recreation.” City Administrator Hill said the Newport projects may qualify.

Two advisory groups have met regularly since 2018 to make recommendations on how to use the 3M settlement money, of which $ 700 million remains after legal costs.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources will have final authority over the distribution of the money. The dispute settlement provides for projects to be selected that will protect the quality of drinking water and improve the area’s natural resources.

Mississippi man accused of utilizing COVID-19 reduction cash to purchase Tesla, $1M residence, prosecutors say

Federal officials say a Starkville man is being charged with a $ 6 million fraud program involving loans from the federal COVID-19 paycheck protection program. Christopher Paul Lick, 45, is accused of using the COVID-19 aid money to buy a $ 1 million home and a $ 100,000 Tesla in four cases of wire transfer fraud, one case of false information against one Financial institution and eleven money laundering cases. Lick is alleged to have a system of trying to get the utility’s loans by submitting false loan applications to banks, including Customers Bank and Cross River Bank. “Lick is said to have overestimated the number of employees and labor costs of his alleged companies that are supposed to receive the money,” said a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi. “Instead of using the PPP funds for his business, Lick reportedly bought a variety of luxury items for personal use.” Prosecutors said Lick also used the money to invest in the stock market. If convicted, Lick could be sentenced to up to 30 years in federal prison.

Federal officials say a Starkville man is being charged with a $ 6 million fraud program involving loans from the federal COVID-19 paycheck protection program.

Christopher Paul Lick, 45, is accused of using the COVID-19 aid money to buy a $ 1 million home and a $ 100,000 Tesla.

Lick was arrested Thursday by FBI agents after he was charged by a federal grand jury on four cases of wire fraud, a number of false statements against a financial institution, and eleven cases of money laundering.

Lick is alleged to have a program designed to obtain the utility’s loans by submitting false credit applications to banks, including Customers Bank and Cross River Bank.

“Lick is said to have overestimated the number of employees and labor costs of his alleged companies that are supposed to receive the money,” said a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi. “Instead of using the PPP funds for his business, Lick reportedly bought a variety of luxury items for personal use.”

Prosecutors said Lick also used the money to invest in the stock market.

If convicted, Lick could face up to 30 years in prison.

Congress poised to supply Mississippi more cash to develop Medicaid

President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, due to be approved by Congress, provides Mississippi with a significant financial incentive to expand Medicaid to primarily provide medical care to the working poor.

Mississippi Senate Public Health Committee chairman Hob Bryan, D-Amory said if the legislation finally becomes law in the coming days, the package would provide Mississippi with around $ 300 million annually for two years if heads of state approve an expansion of Medicaid. Bryan said he based that figure on estimates provided to him by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid and other health groups.

Mississippi is one of only 12 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

“For several years now, the federal government has offered us a million dollars a day to care for sick people,” said Bryan. “Now they’re offering $ 1 million a day to make the other $ 1 million a day. You can’t make that up. “

The Coronavirus Relief Act, based on information from the American Hospital Association, would provide the incentives to expand Medicaid for the 12 states that did not by paying the equivalent dollars they received from their federal government for their traditional Medicaid – Program received, increase by 5%.

Mississippi, the poorest state in the country, receives the highest match rate from the federal government. The federal government has usually paid about 75% of the cost of treating Medicaid recipients in Mississippi, with the state paying the rest.

CONTINUE READING: Mississippi missed $ 7 billion when it didn’t expand Medicaid. Will that number rise to $ 20 billion?

Most recently, based on language, the amount paid by the federal government for Medicaid costs in Mississippi has increased to 84.5% in previous COVID-19 relief laws that have become law. The state match rate averages 56.2% for all 50 states.

If the Biden legislation – the American Rescue Plan Act – is finally passed by Congress and signed into law by Biden, the matching rate for the regular Medicaid program for Mississippi could soar to nearly 90% for two years if the heads of state move decide to expand Medicaid.

So far, the Mississippi Republican political leaders, led by Governor Tate Reeves, have been vigorously opposed to the expansion of Medicaid. They claim that the state cannot afford the costs.

Under current law, the federal government pays 90% of the cost of treatment for those covered by the Medicaid Extension, and the state pays 10% of the cost. It is estimated that up to 300,000 more Mississippians could be covered if Medicaid expands in the state. Many of the people covered by the expansion would be people who work in professions that do not offer private insurance and do not earn enough to be able to afford to buy private insurance.

“We need to work to find ways to get medical care for all of Mississippi, especially in rural areas, but Medicaid’s expansion is not the answer,” Reeves said.

When the chairman of the Medicaid House at the Mississippi House, Joey Hood, R-Ackerman, was asked recently if Mississippi could approve the enlargement if the federal compliance rate for the traditional Medicaid program were increased by 5% as proposed in the legislation he said there was no need to even look at the problem until the bill becomes law.

“It still has to pass through both chambers,” said Hood.

At the start of that session, the Mississippi Senate opposed Medicaid’s expansion on a straight line with all Republicans voting no. In a recent appearance at the Stennis Institute / Capitol Press Corps at Mississippi State University, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, who presides over the Senate, suggests that Medicaid’s expansion could be an issue that was being investigated by senators this summer while the legislature is not in session.

“It’s no surprise … that providing health services is on my agenda for next year,” said Hosemann. “And I expect we will have public hearings on how this will go on.”

The current Mississippi Medicaid program includes mostly poor children, poor pregnant women, the disabled and the elderly, but generally no more able-bodied adults than pregnant women and a small group of caregivers.

As of February, approximately 750,000 people were enrolled in the Mississippi Medicaid program on the Division of Medicaid’s website. Another 48,200 children whose parents earn too much to be on Medicaid will be enrolled in the children’s health insurance program – another federal program.

While many heads of state argue that the state cannot afford to expand Medicaid, others claim it would save the state money while growing the economy and helping hospitals that are currently treating patients who are unable to pay. The Mississippi Hospital Association has approved a hybrid Medicaid extension that has been approved in other states.

“Mississippi will make money as we expand Medicaid,” Bryan said, even before the additional incentive in the US House COVID-19 Relief Act was revealed. “There will be more money in the treasury if we expand Medicaid than if we don’t.”

CONTINUE READING: Could Indiana’s “conservative” version of the Mississippi Medicaid add-on work?

Numerous group receives Mississippi Governor’s Arts Awards | Leisure



FILE – In this file photo dated Nov. 15, 2017, writer Jesmyn Ward attends the 68th National Book Awards ceremony and benefit dinner in New York. An acclaimed writer, prolific songwriter, and group of small town quilters are among this year’s recipients of the Mississippi Governor’s Arts Awards. The Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement goes to Ward, who received the National Book Award for her novels “Salvage the Bones” and “Sing, Unburied, Sing”. The prizes will be televised on Friday February 19, 2021.


Evan Agostini

JACKSON, miss. (AP) – An acclaimed writer, prolific songwriter, and group of small-town quilters are among this year’s recipients of the Mississippi Governor’s Arts Awards.

This is the 33rd year for the awards, and a ceremony usually takes place in Jackson. Governor Tate Reeves has limited the size of the gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the ceremony was recorded. It is scheduled to air on Friday at 8 p.m. on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

The Mississippi Arts Commission said in a press release that the awards are:

Excellence in Literature: Jesmyn Ward is a writer and professor of creative writing at Tulane University. Ward, who grew up in DeLisle, received the National Book Award for her novels “Salvage the Bones” and “Sing, Unburied, Sing”.

Lifetime Achievement: Benjamin Wright is a songwriter, arranger, composer, music director and performer from Greenville. Wright has worked with artists such as Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Outkast, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Mary J. Blige and Janet Jackson.

Art in the Community: Tutwiler Quilters is a group that helps black women in the Delta use their quilting skills to support themselves and their families by making money from their work.

Excellence in Media Arts: Arthur Jafa is a filmmaker and cameraman who grew up in Tupelo and Clarksdale. His work focuses on black identity. His short film “The White Album”, which was about the supremacy of whites, was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale 2019.

Various group receives Mississippi Governor’s Arts Awards | Leisure

JACKSON, miss. (AP) – An acclaimed writer, prolific songwriter, and group of small-town quilters are among this year’s recipients of the Mississippi Governor’s Arts Awards.

This is the 33rd year for the awards, and a ceremony usually takes place in Jackson. Governor Tate Reeves has limited the size of the gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the ceremony was recorded. It is scheduled to air on Friday at 8 p.m. on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

The Mississippi Arts Commission said in a press release that the awards are:

Excellence in Literature: Jesmyn Ward, Author and Professor of Creative Writing at Tulane University. Ward, who grew up in DeLisle, received the National Book Award for her novels “Salvage the Bones” and “Sing, Unburied, Sing”.

Lifetime Achievement: Benjamin Wright, a songwriter, arranger, composer, music director and performer from Greenville. Wright has worked with artists such as Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Outkast, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Mary J. Blige and Janet Jackson.

Art in the Community: Tutwiler Quilters, a group that helps black women in the Delta use their quilting skills to support themselves and their families by making money from their work.

Excellence in Media Arts: Arthur Jafa is a filmmaker and cameraman who grew up in Tupelo and Clarksdale. His work focuses on black identity. His short film “The White Album”, which was about the supremacy of whites, was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale 2019.