Monday, Dec. 6, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the state. The case is in a fully vaccinated individual who recently traveled to New York. The patient was not hospitalized.
Mississippi joins 16 other states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington) in the U.S. that have reported cases of Omicron.
“We were prepared for the appearance of this variant in Mississippi, and we need to remember that Delta is still a very active variant of COVID-19 currently in the state, as well,” said MSDH State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
While information on the infection rate and severity of the Omicron variant is still unknown, Dobbs said the best protection at this point is the COVID-19 vaccinations and booster.
“Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow the transmission rate, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death,” he said.
MSDH is also experiencing a minimal increase in the number of COVID patients in the hospital and a minimal increase of COVID patients in the ICU and on ventilators.
Vaccinations for all Mississippians 5 and older can be found from healthcare providers, FQHCs, independent and retail pharmacies, and county health departments. Appointments at county health departments can be scheduled online at www.covidvaccine.umc.edu, or by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 866-498-4948 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
MSDH also Monday also released its weekend update on coronavirus cases and death reports related to the virus. DeSoto County did not have any death reports during the weekend.
SCHOOLS REPORT LOW CASE, QUARANTINE NUMBERS: DeSoto County Schools released its weekly report on cases and quarantines during the past school week, which saw only 28 new cases the past week and 28 new quarantines, both of which are lows since the beginning of the school year.
Four of the new cases are found at DeSoto Central Middle School, and another four were reported at Lewisburg High School.
Of the 28 new quarantines, six students at Pleasant Hill Elementary School and another six at Oak Grove Central Elementary School were reported.
Only five staff members or teachers had a new positive case of coronavirus during the past week, which ended on Dec. 3.
The complete report is found here and on the DeSoto County School District website.