April 1, 2020, Mississippi Today, Erica Hensley – Mississippi currently has the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the nation, at 31 percent, according to states’ health department data gathered by The COVID Tracking Project. Based on numbers the state health department released Wednesday, 333 patients have been hospitalized so far and 22 people have died. Since the state started regularly updating hospitalization rates, Mississippi has consistently remained among the top three states of about 40 states consistently reporting hospitalization data. As of Wednesday, Oklahoma and South Carolina rank just behind Mississippi, at 30 and 27 percent, respectively. Mississippi also has the 14th most hospitalizations in the nation, data show.