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Mississippi reports first omicron variant; ‘only a matter of time’ for Shelby County

The first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant was reported on Monday, Dec. 6 by the Mississippi State Health Department. 

The individual testing positive for the variant was fully vaccinated and had recently traveled to New York. It was not clear if the patient took a booster shot. Hospitalization was not necessary, officials said.

Shelby County Health Department officials say the variant has not shown up in Shelby County yet, but extensive travel between the two states makes the variant inevitable here.

“It’s not a question of ‘if,’ but a question of when we will see our first case of the omicron variant,” said Dr. Bruce Randolph, the Shelby County Health Department medical officer. We continue to strongly urge those who have not been vaccinated to get vaccinated, and those who have not had the booster shot to get the extra protection. Vaccination and masking are still our best protection.”

‘At Least 24 States’ Reporting Omicron Variant Confirmed Cases

Randolph said Shelby Countians would do well to remember that although there is no mandate for masking, wearing a mask outside the home is strongly advised.

“Whether you are vaccinated or not, masking is still recommended inside public buildings where crowds may gather and ventilation may be poor,” said Randolph. “It’s impossible to know the vaccination status of people you come in contact with. Masking at all times protects the individual and those around them.”

Vaccination sites info:

  • Pipkin Building, 940 Early Maxwell Blvd.; December 10; 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Closed December 11; Ages 12 and older only.
  • Shelby County Health Department Immunization Clinic, 814 Jefferson Ave.; Monday-Friday each week; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Closed on Shelby County Government holidays; Ages 5 and older.

Community Popup Events

— December 11 – Stay Well Memphis Community Health Fair and Vaccine Event, St. Paul Baptist Church, 2124 E. Holmes Rd.; 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Pfizer vaccine only. Ages 5 and older.

— December 12 – COVID-19 Walk-in Vaccination Event, New Direction Christian Church, 6120 Winchester Rd.; 1 p.m.-6 p.m.; Ages 5 and older.

All minors (under age 18) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must have proof of the child’s age. Birth certificates or vaccination records are accepted.

COVID-19 vaccinations are also widely available at pharmacies and other vaccination sites throughout Shelby County. Visit https://www.vaccines.gov/ and enter your ZIP code to find vaccination sites near you. 


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