Mississippi reports first case of COVID-19 Omicron Variant
Published 2:29 pm Monday, December 6, 2021
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has officially arrived in Mississippi, according to the state health department.
Originating in South Africa, the case is in a fully vaccinated individual who recently traveled to New York. The patient was not hospitalized. A representative from the Mississippi State Department of Health told The Vicksburg Post the agency was not permitted to disclose the county in which the individual resides, “out of respect for the privacy of the individual.”
Mississippi joins 16 other states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington) in the U.S. that have reported cases of Omicron.
“We were prepared for the appearance of this variant in Mississippi, and we need to remember that Delta is still a very active variant of COVID-19 currently in the state, as well,” said MSDH State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
While information on the infection rate and severity of the Omicron variant is still unknown, Dobbs said the best protection at this point is the COVID-19 vaccinations and booster.
“Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow the transmission rate, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death,” he said.
MSDH is also experiencing a minimal increase in the number of COVID patients in the hospital and a minimal increase of COVID patients in the ICU and on ventilators.
Vaccinations for all Mississippians 5 and older can be found from healthcare providers, FQHCs, independent and retail pharmacies, and county health departments. Appointments at county health departments can be scheduled online at covidvaccine.umc.edu, or by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 866-498-4948 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.