Free COVID-19 Testing Clinic opens Monday

In response to a growing demand for testing, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has approved the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors’ request for a free COVID-19 testing clinic.

The COVID-19 testing site opens Monday, Aug. 23, at the Health Department, located at 3212 Highway 51 South in Hernando.  A company contracted by the State will provide testing Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-3:10 p.m.  Each person will receive a rapid and PCR test.

Appointments can be made online at www.COVIDschedule.umc.edu. People without internet access can make appointments by calling (601) 496-7200.

The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors requested the testing clinic to meet the increased demand for testing amid the surge of COVID-19 cases.  

“We are thankful MSDH listened to our request for more testing,” said Supervisor Board President Mark Gardner.  “The health and welfare of everyone in DeSoto County is our greatest concern. We want to make sure they have all the services and resources they need, when they need it.”

People can find more information about COVID-19 testing and resources on the MSDH website.

As reported earlier, it appears the county will not be getting a COVID-19 emergency field hospital at this time.

“We have been told that they don’t have the staff to operate a field hospital,” a statement from the county read. “The State is currently focusing on increasing staff inside brick and mortar hospitals.”

County officials also said that MSDH, beginning Monday, will begin administering booster vaccine shots, or third doses, to those who meet certain criteria, at the county health department’s Hernando location. 

 People can make an appointment for the third doses online at  https://covidvaccine.umc.edu/ or by calling 877-978-6453.

These third doses are only available in the following cases:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose steroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

This week’s order from Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs that positive COVID-19 cases were to home-isolate for 10 days or face possible fines and/or jail time can actually be viewed as less restrictive as what had already been on the books, but state health officials failed to point that out when the latest order was announced Friday.

A similar order earlier this month mandated a 14-day home isolation period for positive coronavirus cases with the threat of jail time and/or fines for refusal to do so.  The latest one reduced the number down to 10 days.

That earlier order from Aug. 4 is also on the MSDH website

No information about cases or fatal victims from coronavirus was released by MSDH today, as the department does not update its information on the weekend.  

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