Mississippi health leaders discuss increase in COVID-19 cases

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, leaders with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) provided updates on COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state. They discusses the cases and deaths on a month-by-month basis from March 2020 until August 2021.

According to health leaders, the state’s second highest case month was in December 2020, with more than 63,000 cases. The highest case month is August 2021, with more than 85,000 cases.

As for deaths, December 2020 and January 2021 both had more than 1,000 fatalities. In August 2021, there have been 838 deaths.

“If you haven’t been vaccinated, take the opportunity now. The FDA has fully authorized the Pfizer vaccine to individuals 16 and older, so it’s gotten full FDA approval. We encourage folks not to wait on vaccine for additional research or additional word. Now is the time,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

Health leaders said 99 percent of cases and 87 percent of hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated. If you contract COVID-19, they encouraged you to seek the monoclonal antibody treatment.

There’s been an increase in kids testing positive since school started again. 

At the start of the pandemic, the percentage of kids testing positive was very low but now kids ages 5-17 sit at about 22% of the cases in Mississippi which ranks 2nd behind the 25-to-39 age group. 

And as the cases of children here in Mississippi rise, State Health Epidemiologists Dr. Paul Byers says the number of shots in arms are rising for this age group as well.

Byers adds there are over 70 schools and 17 school districts MSDH have help facilitate to have private providers in the community to administer the vaccine at the schools. 

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