Have Omicron COVID cases peaked in South Mississippi? Here’s what the data says

Hannah Ruhoff/hruhoff@sunherald.com
·2 min read

About 50 days after the first omicron case was identified in Mississippi the cases appear to have peaked in the state.

Monday’s report from the state health department shows 12,711 new cases over the weekend.

It compares to 22,456 after the holiday weekend results were reported on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

That calculates to 707 new cases this weekend from Friday through Sunday. It was 987 new cases for the four-days from Jan. 14 through Jan. 17.

Record high numbers were posted several times in January. The numbers don’t completely reflect the number of cases in the state because many people are self-testing for COVID-19 or choosing not to get tested if the symptoms are mild.

In South Mississippi the peak is less dramatic but still evident since posting 1,573 cases for a single day on Jan. 13.

New cases dropped to 2,122 reported Monday compared to 3,946 over the long weekend of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. That amounts to 707 cases per day this weekend compared 987 cases per day over the holiday weekend.

But the numbers of deaths in Mississippi continue to mount, as they did for weeks after the peak throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The health department reported Monday 13 additional deaths, with 3 of them in Harrison County.

In a Monday morning press conference, officials with Ochsner Health confirmed that cases peaked in New Orleans on Jan. 11 and in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and the north shore of New Orleans a week or more later.

Ochsner operates the Ochsner Medical Center — Hancock in Bay St. Louis.

While hospitalizations weren’t as high in the region with omicron as they were with Delta, said Warner Thomas, president and CEO of Ochsner Health, the escalation of cases and infection rate were much higher with omicron than with the delta variant.

At the end of December, almost 1,400 employees of the health system were unable to work because of the coronavirus, he said. On Monday that is down to 698 on quarantine.

Ochsner is conducting 50,000 to 60,000 COVID-19 tests a week, he said.

Thomas said they are seeing more breakthrough cases of people getting COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, but fewer hospitalizations for those who have had the vaccine.

With Mardi Gras parades coming up, he encouraged people to get their families vaccinated.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting