Residents urged to get vaccine


State health officials continue to urge all Mississippians to get their appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine shot.


Gov. Tate Reeves made the announcement week that everyone in Mississippi may now call and make an appointment to take the vaccination shot.


 To register for an appointment at a Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) drive-through site, visit or call the MSDH COVID-19 Hotline at 1-877-978-6453 for additional assistance.


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As of Monday, the Mississippi Health Department reported that Kemper County has had 937 reported cases of COVID-19 since March 2020, an increase of 10 cases since last Monday.


There have now been 25 COVID-19 related deaths in Kemper County, an increase by one since last week.


Statewide, the rate of the number of new reported cases increased across the state this past week by 2,051. There have been 302,932 cases reported in Mississippi since March 2020, and 6,956 reported deaths, an increase of 53 since last week.


The governor has rescinded his mask ordinance. However, the Kemper County board of supervisors still have its county-wide mask ordinance in place until April 5.


It is strongly advised by health officials that people wear masks when they are out in public and social distancing is strongly urged.


The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) advises Mississippians to please be patient when visiting the drive-through vaccination sites. Please arrive for your vaccination appointment 15 minutes early, and please keep your assigned appointment time.


The Mississippi State Department of Health has announced that a new variant strain of COVID-19 has been identified in Mississippi. State health leaders announced Friday that the more infectious South African strain of COVID-19 has been discovered in a person in Harrison County, according to state news reports.


B.1.351 is the official name of the strain and originated in South Africa. It was first detected in the United States back in January. Twenty-five other states have also reported cases of this new strain.


Another variant, the UK strain, was identified in Mississippi back in mid-February and has affected 10 patients so far in the state, according to Dr. Paul Byers.


Dr. Thomas Dobbs urges people to continue to seek vaccinations. He said the new strain will seriously impact the unvaccinated population.


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