JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)– The coronavirus is now in Copiah and Pearl River counties.
Earlier Friday afternoon, the Mississippi State Department of Health said there were six new cases of coronavirus, but wouldn’t release any details on two of those. Now health officials say in Copiah and Pearl River counties two women over 65 years old are in hospitals after positive test results.
Copiah and Pearl River counties are now added to the list with Forrest and Leflore counties bringing the total of COVID-19 cases to six. The Mississipppi State Department of Health expects the virus to spread.
“You’ve seen just yourself, quickly in just a matter of days how many new cases we’ve identified,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.
Ninety people in the state have been tested. You can only be tested if you are having symptoms.
“We do not test asymptomatic people,” said state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “It’s harmful actually because it gives people false insecurity, and it’s not useful.”
Dr. Byers says it could take up to 14 days for symptoms to show. Dr. Thomas Dobbs says they’ve asked doctors to start delaying visits for patients with routine care.
“We’re also talking to hospitals to look at maybe diminishing elective procedures in the future so maybe they can preserve capacity and these are ongoing conversations,” said Dr. Dobbs. “These are top concerns about making sure we have adequate capacity to take care of folks.”
Call your doctor if you think you have COVID-19. If you are swabbed, a sample will be sent to the state lab or a commercial lab like LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics.
“Now there are some capacity issues,” said Dr. Dobbs. “It’s important to note when they send a sample all they are doing is sending us a sample. They are not sending us a test. They are sending us a tube with liquid in it and a swab. Now you have to have access to that tube and we are actively monitoring that to see what the capacity of that is.”
During the news conference Dr. Dobbs says he was briefing the governor on the situation as he returns from a trip to Spain. He also said they will meet with school superintendents Monday.