COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations trending up in Mississippi

Published 4:41 pm Thursday, June 16, 2022

As summer wears on, COVID-19 case numbers are trending upward for the state of Mississippi — and Warren County is no exception.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Warren County reported 72 COVID-19 cases over the last seven days. Of those 72 cases, only one person has been admitted to Merit Health River Region due to COVID-19.

These numbers are higher than the same time period in 2021 but are still significantly lower than the last COVID-19 spike reported in the state. In January 2022, statewide cases rose higher than 10,000 in a single day. According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, on Monday the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state was approximately 900.

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Since May 16 of this year, hospitalizations in the state rose by 37 percent. Of those patients, however, the number of patients in intensive care units has not risen significantly.

According to the CDC, approximately 66 percent of Warren County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — meaning they’ve gotten two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Of that number, 41.6 percent have received one booster dose as well.

In addition to vaccines, several antiviral treatments for COVID-19 are also available in Warren County.

Incoming State Health Officer Dr. Dan Edney said he anticipates periodic rises in COVID numbers moving forward, but thanks to both community transmission and vaccine rates, the number of severe cases isn’t increasing to previous levels.

“Hopefully we’re not going to see the spikes we saw through Delta and Omicron, but we probably will see waves like we see now,” Edney said. “We’re running between 800 to 900 confirmed cases statewide per day. That’s an under-report because a lot of people are testing at home.

“The main thing is that thankfully hospitalizations are not surging and the death rate is extremely low. Although people are contracting COVID, they’re not getting as sick as they were last August and September,” Edney added. “We would encourage everyone with a severe case of COVID to go ahead and be treated. We have plenty of therapeutics that are widely available.”

Oral antiviral therapies Paxlovid (Pfizer) and molnupiravir (Merck) are products authorized by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19. These therapies require a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider to see whether an oral antiviral is a right option for you.

“If whoever’s testing you doesn’t offer it to you, you need to ask for it,” Edney said. “And if they don’t have it, you can go to the MSDH website and type in your zip code and find a provider that does.”

Oral antiviral medications work by targeting specific proteins on the SARS-CoV-2 virus to help prevent the virus from replicating within the body. It is important that the oral antiviral is started within five days of the start of symptoms.

Click here to find a provider authorized to prescribe or distribute these treatments.