COVID-19 Omicron cases soaring

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022

An average of 5,555 new cases of COVID-19 per day were reported Tuesday for the four-day period of Jan. 7-10. A total of 22,221 new positive test results and 36 new related deaths were reported for the period.

Mississippi has now surged past 600,000 cases — 608,768 — and has recorded 10,563 deaths connected to the coronavirus COVID-19.

Lincoln County has reported no new deaths, remaining at 138, but has increased to 6,227 reported cases from just 6,096 Thursday, Jan. 6 — 131 cases over three days.

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With King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven at more than 150 percent of its pre-pandemic daily in-patient average, 12 of the 33 patients are COVID-positive. Seven of these are in the intensive care unit and three are on ventilators. Eight of the hospitalized patients are unvaccinated.


Why are the vaccinated getting COVID-19?

Many people wonder why so many vaccinated people are getting COVID-19.

A couple of factors are at play, starting with the emergence of the highly contagious omicron variant. Omicron is more likely to infect people, even if it doesn’t make them very sick, and its surge coincided with the holiday travel season in many places.

People might mistakenly think the COVID-19 vaccines will completely block infection, but the shots are mainly designed to prevent severe illness, says Louis Mansky, a virus researcher at the University of Minnesota.

And the vaccines are still doing their job on that front, particularly for people who haveve gotten boosters.

Omicron appears to replicate much more efficiently than previous variants. And if infected people have high virus loads, there’s a greater likelihood they’ll pass it on to others, especially the unvaccinated. Vaccinated people who get the virus are more likely to have mild symptoms, if any, since the shots trigger multiple defenses in your immune system, making it much more difficult for omicron to slip past them all.

Advice for staying safe hasn’t changed. Doctors say to wear masks indoors, avoid crowds and get vaccinated and boosted. Even though the shots won’t always keep you from catching the virus, they’ll make it much more likely you stay alive and out of the hospital.