The Mississippi Delta and other rural areas in the state are being hardest hit by the pandemic. Already isolated from decent health care, many who live in Mississippi suffer from a litany of health problems that make them prey to COVID-19 if they become infected. Many deaths in Mississippi from COVID-19 have been in rural Mississippi counties—where hospitals have disappeared and where high-risk illnesses make the coronavirus even deadlier.
Twice as many residents caught COVID-19 at Mississippi's for-profit nursing homes, and nearly three times more died there, an analysis of health data by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting shows.
Coronavirus has hit the Mississippi Choctaw Band of Indians harder than any major city in the country. Of the 10,000 Choctaws served by the tribe, one in 10 has tested positive for COVID-19.
In Holmes County, Mississippi, the COVID-19 infection rate is more than three times the national average. “We were already off the cliff with no safety net,” said the Holmes County supervisor. “Then COVID came.”
With workers sick and workforces depleted, two Mississippi poultry plants have permission to ratchet up processing line speeds to increase production during the pandemic—at the risk, union leaders say, of worker safety in one of the country’s most dangerous industries.
Founder of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting discusses COVID-19’s effect on the most impoverished areas of the state