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Health officials: Mississippi is still in the thick of Delta surge but starting to see an inflection point

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 10:05 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says we’re still in the thick of the Delta surge. But there is some encouraging news on the COVID-19 front in Mississippi.

“We have almost 1.5 million people, almost half of the state has received at least one dose,” said Dobbs. “But we don’t have near enough people in the state who are immune either because of natural infection, or because of vaccination to keep us from having additional surges or to keep us from having additional outbreaks.”

The numbers of hospitalizations started dropping by late last month. But the number of patients in the ICU is higher than previous surges in the pandemic.

“The bed capacity for ICU space is effectively zero still in the state of Mississippi,” described MSDH Senior Deputy and Director of Health Protection Jim Craig.

And pregnant women are the latest focus of warnings from these health leaders.

“Currently, we’re investigating eight reports of pregnant women who have died within the past several weeks, all of whom were unvaccinated,” said Dobbs. “We do know that COVID is especially problematic and dangerous for pregnant women. But we also know it can be deadly for the baby in the womb.”

Meanwhile, another pediatric death recorded this week - a reminder that the Delta variant is hitting hard, regardless of age.

“An additional pediatric death,” explained State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “This is a child less than a year of age. That brings us up to seven pediatric deaths that have been reported so far during this pandemic.”

There have been a lot of questions about the Mu variant that’s made headlines nationally.

We learned in Wednesday’s briefing that four cases have been identified in Mississippi since May, but Delta is still the predominant strain.

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