Mississippi COVID-19 hospitalizations rise as cases spread

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue rising rapidly in Mississippi as new cases proliferate.

The state Health Department reported Monday that 695 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were hospitalized Sunday. That is up from 265 hospitalized two weeks earlier, on Dec. 19.

The department also reported Monday that 17,525 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the state from Thursday through Sunday. These are some of the highest numbers in months.

The state epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers, had said Wednesday that Mississippi is headed into “a fifth wave of COVID.” Cases in the state rose rapidly with the spread of the delta variant of the virus in July and August, overwhelming the staffing and resources of some hospitals.

The Health Department said last week that cases of the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 had surpassed new cases of the delta variant.

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