MISSISSIPPI — State health officials in Mississippi said things are getting back to normal two weeks after Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves ended mask mandates.
When the mandates ended March 3rd, the 7-day average of new cases was around 540, but since then the average has dropped 26-percent to 400 new cases.
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State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said this is due in part to people stepping up and getting the vaccine.
“Addressing every possible avenue to make sure people have access to vaccine is the way that we go forward. What you’re seeing now is more and more vaccines going to private doctors’ offices and pharmacies. The options are increasing very quickly,” said Dobbs.
This week, the state has allowed everyone 16-years-old and older to get the vaccine. Now, he says the state is moving forward with a new program called the Center of Excellence.
It’s a partnership with 43 hospitals throughout the state to track health disparities in certain communities throughout the state and work toward vaccinations.
“We partner with different hospital health systems to try and help provide critical community needs,” said Dobbs.
While about 10-percent of the state’s population has tested positive for COVID since the pandemic started, more than 11 percent of Mississippians are now fully vaccinated.
“We’ve already got appointments scheduled some weeks ahead, so we see that it may be a couple weeks before people get vaccines, but now is the time to open it up so we can maximize the delivery and administration of these vaccines,” said Dr. Dobbs.
He said there’s work in place to vaccinate people at schools, health centers and churches soon. There are fewer than 300 COVID patients hospitalized across the state: the fewest since mid-April.