Epidemiologist says Mississippi at worst of COVID battle, but no end in sight

Published 5:32 pm Friday, August 20, 2021

Mississippi’s state epidemiologist said Friday Mississippi’s battle with the rapidly spreading COVID-19 coronavirus is “about as bad of a situation as it can be” with no apparent signs of the wave slowing.

“We’re in the worst time, right now,” Dr. Paul Byers said. Friday during a Q&A session with the Mississippi State Medical Association. “Certainly we’re in a worse time than any time we’ve experienced previously. We’re in just about as bad of a situation as it can be.”

Byers said health officials have seen nothing to indicate the wave will slow anytime soon.

“These numbers are staggering and they’re real,” he said. “We’re not showing any signs of peaking at the moment.”

Byers said the fastest-growing age group in the spread of the disease is in children.

“We’re seeing very high transmission, across the state,” he said. “The fastest-growing groups of cases are in the 5 to 17-year-olds. Over these last several weeks, we’ve seen a very rapid increase in cases among children.”

Children’s of Mississippi, the state’s only children’s hospital reported Friday morning the hospital was treating 30 children with COVID-19.

Mississippi reported more than 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The state has reported more than 62,700 cases so far in August.