‘Clearly the main issue is that people have let their guard way down’: Singing River addresses increase in COVID-19 cases

Monday's COVID-19 FAQs with Dr. Jesse Penico

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Across the coast, coronavirus cases are climbing. This is especially evident in Harrison County, where they are seeing the second-most cases in the state over the last week.

Singing River Health System (SRHS) released a statement regarding the increase in cases on Monday stating, “Just like the rest of the country, here in our service area, the current seven-day rolling average for COVID-19 cases has crept up. We are up to an average of 11 positives per day, with a record 34 COVID positive cases on Saturday.”

The hospital noted the cases were mostly seen in younger people, who did not require hospitalization. They did point out that this is still a concern because the less at-risk COVID carriers could still pass the virus along to other people in the household, who could potentially be more at-risk and vulnerable to the disease.

While it is partly a function of more robust testing (we have performed nearly 1,200 tests in the last 7 days) clearly the main issue is that people have let their guard way down.
Singing River Health System

SRHS brought recent trends to the forefront that suggest South Mississippians have stopped staying as diligent when following CDC guidelines. Those trends are as follows: “people with mild but evident symptoms not isolating to avoid infecting others, spreading in social circles (friends and family), more and more younger people infecting each other.”

The hope, SRHS said, is that people with symptoms, no matter the severity, isolate immediately.

“At workplaces, people working in close proximity to each other should immediately address anyone in their area with a recurring light cough or other symptoms. COVID symptoms are being constantly overlooked and dismissed by spreaders as sinus issues.”

While health officials have stressed the importance of wearing a mask in public, SRHS highlighted that staying home is more effective than wearing a mask.

Washing your hands with warm water more frequently, and refraining from face touching, hugging, and close contact with other individuals is still advised by medical professionals.

Anyone wanting to be tested for COVID-19 can complete a pre-screening by calling one of the following hotlines:

  • Memorial Hospital Coronavirus Hotline: 228-867-5000
  • Singing River Health System Coronavirus Hotline: 228-809-5044
  • MS Dept. of Health Coronavirus Hotline: 877-978-6453.

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