‘We really are in the fifth wave now’ state health official says; omicron variant now predominant strain in Mississippi

Published 2:35 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2021

State health officials warned the public Wednesday that Mississippi is now officially in the fifth wave of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and that the omicron variant became the dominant strain of the virus last week.

Mississippi has reported more than 10,000 new cases in the last seven days, approximately double the prior week.

“We really are in the fifth wave now for COVID in Mississippi,” Mississippi State Epidemiologist Dr. Byers said Wednesday.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said more than two-thirds of the new virus cases last week were of the omicron variant.

“Most of the monoclonal treatments we have are not effective with omicron,” Dobbs said. “So for the next couple of weeks, please be particularly careful.”

The state announced nearly 3,600 new cases found yesterday in Mississippi. It was the highest single-day total reported since September 12 in the final days of the delta variant surge.

The rise in cases is affecting almost every corner of the state, officials said, and has greatly impacted long-term care facilities such as nursing homes.

“We’ve seen almost a four-fold increase in the number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities,” Dobbs said.