COVID-19 update: Thousands of new cases in Mississippi

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

After a Christmas holiday weekend where 7,058 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Mississippi, the state health department announced 2,698 more new cases Tuesday.

In addition to the five coronavirus-related deaths reported over the weekend, 22 new deaths were reported Tuesday. One of these deaths occurred in Southwest Mississippi, in Jefferson County.

Fifteen new positive test results were reported Tuesday in Lincoln County, raising the county’s total to 5,711. No new deaths have been reported in Lincoln County since the end of October.

New cases were reported in each of the seven counties bordering Lincoln, though only one new death — the one reported for Jefferson. County totals as of Tuesday are:

• Amite County — 2,160 cases (five new); 58 deaths

• Copiah County — 4,820 cases (32 new); 95 deaths

• Franklin County — 1,300 cases (six new); 32 deaths

• Jefferson County — 986 cases (three new); 35 deaths (one new)

• Lawrence County — 2,308 cases (14 new); 43 deaths

• Pike County — 6,083 cases (27 new); 158 deaths

• Walthall County —  2,273 cases (seven new); 66 deaths

COVID testing is offered at many health clinics, hospitals and pharmacies. Check with a provider on test availability, scheduling and costs. If you do not have health insurance, free COVID-19 testing Monday through Friday is available from Mississippi’s Community Health Centers. Contact a center near you or call 601-981-1817 for more information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also shortened the recommended isolation time for people infected with COVID-19 from 10 days to five days, if asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask around others.

The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after, according to CDC information. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for five days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for five days to minimize the risk of infecting others.

For those exposed to the virus, the CDC recommends a five-day quarantine followed by strict mask use for five more days, if a person has not been vaccinated or more than six months have passed since their second vaccination. If a five-day quarantine is not feasible, CDC recommends wearing a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days. For more information, visit CDC.gov.

“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses.”