Winter weather could have positive impact on COVID-19 case counts

Winter weather could have positive impact on COVID-19 case counts

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - You’ve seen the negative impacts of the winter weather on the state within the last week...traffic, power, and water. But it turns out there may be some silver linings when it comes to the impact on COVID-19.

A look at last week’s numbers reveal the highest one-day case total was 734. MEA Medical Clinics’ Dr. William Grantham says they’re seeing the testing demand pick up but makes this note.

“There’s an increase, of course, it’s happened in the last day or so when we’ve been back open,” said Dr. Grantham. “But it’s still nowhere near where we were back in December or January. But the generalized numbers needing testing are clearly down.”

But what about folks who may have put off testing due to the weather?

“There’s always a concern that the virus could progress,” added Grantham. “But if they weren’t becoming severe enough requiring hospitalization, they were effectively quarantined. So, their spread shouldn’t have been as great because they probably would’ve been around those same household members asnyway.”

That’s why the Mississippi State Medical Association believes there will be a net positive impact from the weather delays.

“It’s interesting how the ice storm, the silver lining was that it kept people doing the things that we’ve asked them to do which is social distancing and staying home and outdoors is better than indoors and all of those things,” explained MSMA Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Jennifer Bryan.

The Department of Health reminding folks to be patient if the waiting times are long because they’ve had to schedule more appointments per day to make up for cancellations due to winter weather.

At the start of last week, the state reported the first variant strain of the virus in a Mississippi resident.

“It was suspected it was already here,” said Bryan. “So, that was no surprise. But the vaccines seem to be holding up very well for the variants. The more we decrease that community spread, the less chance we have of mutations and variants forming that we have to worry about at all.”

The Department of Health reporting just 242 new cases of COVID-19 in the state today with no additional deaths.

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