The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has opened a second COVID-19 testing location in DeSoto County. MSDH is conducting free testing at the Health Department in Hernando located at 3212 Highway 51 South and at the Community Safe Room in Southaven located at 7312 Highway 51 North.
“Testing is available Monday-Friday,” the MSDH stated in a news release. “Because of high demand for testing, please schedule an appointment ahead of time. You can also make an appointment at the testing site, but same-day openings may not be available.”
To schedule an appointment, call 601-496-7200 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Saturday) or complete the UMMC COVID-19 online patient scheduling form https://covidschedule.umc.edu/SelectLocation.
Wednesday, MSDH also provided information in line with Centers for Disease Control’s new guidance for length of quarantines being reduced from 10 to five days.
• Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, regardless of vaccination status, can stop isolating after five days if they don’t have symptoms or if their “symptoms are resolving” — as long as they also wear a mask around others for the next five days.
• Recently fully vaccinated or boosted people who were exposed to someone with Covid-19 don’t need to quarantine, as long as they don’t get symptoms. (But they should wear a mask around others for 10 days and try to get tested five days after exposure.)
• Unvaccinated people and those who got shots some time ago and were exposed to someone with Covid-19 need to quarantine for five days after exposure. This covers people who got their last dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than six months ago and haven’t been boosted; or got just one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago and haven’t been boosted. (Everyone in this category, too, should try to get tested five days after exposure and wear a mask around others for the next five days.)
MSDH Wednesday reported 3,594 additional cases of COVID-19 in the state and 19 new deaths since its last report.
That brings the state total for the pandemic to 538,852 cases and 10,439 victims to the virus, according to MSDH.
DeSoto County had one additional death report from Dec. 23-28 and an additional death report related to the virus from the period between Aug. 28-Dec. 20.
Daily cases in DeSoto County have been on the rise in the past seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), with daily cases at 84 per 100,000 population as of Dec. 28. That is a 14-day increase of 307 percent. However, the 14-day average for COVID-related deaths has dropped 33 percent at 0.15 per 100,000 population.
The average number of new cases in DeSoto County of 156 was a 33 percent increase from the previous day, according to the CDC.
Statewide, the average number of new cases at 1,518 is a 23 percent increase from the day before.
Fifty percent of DeSoto County residents have been fully vaccinated, 59 percent of those above the age of 12 and 84 percent of residents above the age of 65.
The following images regarding hospitalizations are from the Mississippi State Department of Health website as of 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29.