JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, January 14, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs discussed the latest in COVID-19 cases, testing availability, and the situation with monoclonal antibody and antiviral treatment therapies.

In the past few weeks of the Omicron variant wave, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has reported more than 34,000 cases within a week. However, less deaths have been reported overall.

“If we look at what’s going on with our cases and hospitalizations, although it does cause a less severe illness because of the remarkable number of cases we have, we are seeing massive increase in the number of new hospitalizations putting an increasing strain on our healthcare system and overloading our ICU systems,” said Dobbs.

He also shared that the majority of deaths are still occurring in unvaccinated Mississippians, and he encouraged everyone to get vaccinated and boosted.

Treatments available for those who have COVID-19 include:

  • Oral antivirals called Paxlovid and Molnupirvar which are both effective against Omicron.
  • Monoclonal antibodies called Bam/Ete, Regen COV, Sotrovimab and Evusheld for high-risk patients and Omicron infected patients
  • Intravenous antiviral called Remdesivir, a three day infusion effective against Omicron.

For COVID-19 testing, Dobbs advised patients to visit testing sites across Mississippi or to see their physician or local pharmacy. Home testing will also be available for high-risk communities in the coming weeks for Mississippians.