JACKSON, Mississippi — The Mississippi State Health Department gives an update Tuesday on that Delta variant of COVID-19.
It is almost as if we are on repeat.
“It feels very reminiscent of where we were in an earlier part of the pandemic really about this time last year,” said Dr. Paul Byers, Mississippi Epidemiologist.
Dr. Byers said outbreaks took off in Mississippi then, and it's happening again now. This time, the outbreak is the Delta variant.
“We are seeing outbreaks of the Delta variant occurring among elementary aged school kids, high school aged school kids, middle school kids. We’re seeing it associated with camp settings,” said Dr. Byers.
Tuesday, there were 11 reported COVID-related deaths in Mississippi.
State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said 10 of those who died were unvaccinated and the 11th was partially vaccinated.
“We’re seeing an increasing number of cases in large measure to the increase of the Delta variant. We are starting to see an increase in the number of hospitalizations,” said Dobbs.
Most cases were patients in their late 20s to early 30s in age.
“Let me make it clear. The vaccines are saving lives. 96% of our cases over the past month, unvaccinated. 95% of our hospitalizations percent of our cases over the past month, unvaccinated. 90% of our deaths over the past month, unvaccinated,” said Dobbs.
Mississippi State Health Department said the Delta variant is now the dominant strain. It is an alarming change since the state is still behind the country in vaccinations.
“When you look at our vaccination rate compared to the US, we are considerably lower across all age groups. When you look at the total population that’s been vaccinated, just a bit over 30-percent of Mississippians are fully vaccinated now,” said Dr. Byers
“The people who are dying, the people who are hospitalized in Mississippi are unvaccinated folks. As we go forward, every death will be an additional tragedy because it was almost certainly avoidable,” said Dobbs.
Their push is and still remains to get vaccinated if you're eligible.