This morning, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported a weekend total of 2,326 new cases of COVID-19—3x the number reported from the previous weekend.
This brings the state’s total number of cases up to 329,130 as the Delta variant continues to cause a surge in new cases. With the state’s vaccination rate among the lowest in the country, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs explained to SuperTalk Mississippi that the state is especially seeing increasing case numbers among children, teenagers and young adults.
“What we’ve seen is a phenomenal surge of healthy or mostly healthy 40-year-old folks in ICU on ventilators and dying,” Dr. Dobbs said.
Several indicators are on the rise, including hospitalizations which are now above 300 after that figure was below 100 in late June, and Dr. Dobbs tweeted this morning that the “4th wave is here.”
The state’s vaccination rate currently rests at 33.8%, but that figure is lower among Mississippi’s youth. Dr. Dobbs continues to stress the importance of vaccination as 93% of the state’s cases and 96% of deaths are among the unvaccinated.
If you do catch COVID-19, Dr. Dobbs and the MSDH recommend asking your doctor about ‘monoclonal antibody treatment’ which he says can reduce your risk of hospitalization by up to 89%. Additionally, he stated that if you had COVID in the early stages of the pandemic, your natural immunity may be declining.
Friday, the MSDH released its updated guidelines for schools ahead of the upcoming academic year with Dr. Dobbs outlining that the recommendations are aligned with CDC guidelines. Under these recommendations, vaccinated teachers and students do not need to wear a mask, but the state’s leading medical expert stated that a majority of teachers and the eligible school-aged population are not vaccinated.
As for a potential booster dose, Dr. Dobbs recommended that anyone who is immunocompromised should talk to their doctor about the possibility of the third dose with data showing that it could be beneficial.