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MSDH issues new public health guidance amid rising cases, hospitalizations

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With case numbers and hospitalizations rising in Mississippi, the State Department of Health has issued new public health guidance. 

Issued by State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the MSDH now recommends that all Mississippians over the age of 65 and anyone with chronic underlying medical conditions avoid all indoor mass gatherings regardless of vaccination status. 

Additionally, the MSDH recommends that all unvaccinated individuals wear a mask when indoors in public settings. Health officials continue to urge all eligible Mississippians (12+) to get vaccinated as the state’s vaccination rate remains the lowest in the nation. 

The department says that numerous outbreaks have been identified in youth camps, faith-based gatherings, funerals and social events.

New COVID-19 cases have been above 400 for the past two days and health officials warn that the highly contagious Delta variant is now the dominate strain of the virus in Mississippi. While officials stressed that the vaccine remains effective against the variant strain, the increased exposure due to ongoing community transmission puts the elderly and the immunocompromised at risk. 

Hospitalizations had dropped below 100 in late June but steadily risen in the time since. 

Highlighting the importance of vaccinations, State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers shared data outlining that 95% of cases, 90% of hospitalizations and 89% of deaths have occurred in unvaccinated individuals since June 3rd.

For the latest list of vaccination sites in Mississippi, click here.

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