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Are Low Covid-19 Testing Rates in Mississippi a Cause For Concern?

If Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths are all falling in Mississippi, how big of an issue is it that the state ranks 50 of 50 in residents tested per capita?

For better or for worse, all COVID-related numbers in Mississippi are falling, but as with its vaccination rate, Mississippi is lagging behind in COVID testing.

Testing rates have plummeted nationally, but no other state is testing fewer residents per capita, and most are leagues ahead. This is a problem in a state where so many residents are declining to get vaccinated, even as health experts insist that wide-scale testing can help facilitate a return to normalcy that guards against large virus outbreaks in the absence of herd immunity protections.

One reason for the severe decline in testing is that individuals actually have a choice in the matter.

COVID-19 vaccinations had fallen for seven straight weeks in Mississippi before seeing a slight uptick last week.

The Mississippi Department of Health will now come directly to the homes of people who want to get vaccinated but don’t have reliable transportation, so it is safe to say that availabilty is not the issue.

MSDH reported on Friday that 1,019,460 people in Mississippi – over 33% of the state’s population – have received at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

More than 887,000 people have been fully inoculated since the state began distributing vaccines in December.

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