Mississippi Surpasses New Jersey as Worst State for Covid Deaths
(Bloomberg) -- Mississippi has overtaken New Jersey as the state with the highest per-capita death toll from Covid-19.
Since the end of June, Mississippi has been among the states hardest-hit by the latest wave of infections, fueled by the fast-spreading delta variant. In that period, Mississippi’s cumulative deaths rose by about 22% to 306 per 100,000 residents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In other words, about one out of every 327 Mississippians has died from Covid-19 since the pandemic began last year. In New Jersey, it’s closer to one-in-328.
Early on, the virus blindsided the densely populated U.S. Northeast when testing and treatment were extraordinarily limited. But it has now exacted an even steeper toll in Mississippi, the state with the highest poverty rate and largest proportion of Black residents -- a stark reminder of how deep-seated inequities stack the deck against some Americans.
It’s not just delta that has hurt Mississippi. The state has suffered wave after brutal wave, even as some parts of the country have tamped down the virus with vaccinations and mitigation efforts. It consistently has one of the U.S.’s highest rates of diabetes, a major risk factor for severe Covid-19, and vaccine uptake has been among the worst in the nation.
Louisiana, a similarly poor Deep South state, is now the third-worst state by Covid deaths.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.