Mississippi health officials announce first Omicron variant case in the state

Published 12:53 pm Monday, December 6, 2021

JACKSON — The first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in Mississippi has been reported by the Mississippi State Department of Health.

According to Monday’s report, the case is in a fully vaccinated individual who recently traveled to New York. The patient was not hospitalized.

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.

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“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 vents.

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 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily.

Monday, MSDH reported 982 new cases of coronavirus in the state for the three-day period of Dec. 3-5. The state has now recorded 516,486 cases over the course of the pandemic. Three new deaths were reported for the weekend, as well — one each in Alcorn, Tate and Union counties — elevating the death toll to 10,299 statewide.

Adams County has recorded 4,784 cases and 125 deaths to-date. As of Sunday, Merit Health Natchez reported zero COVID-positive patients hospitalized.