JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State health officials say the COVID-19 vaccine could keep you from spreading the virus for at least 90 days, a number that could change as more about the vaccines is learned.
On Friday, State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers announced that the state was about to be able to relax some quarantine guidelines for individuals who have completed both rounds of their COVID vaccinations.
“If you complete the two-vaccine series and it’s been at least 14 days since you’ve completed it ... and are and you’re exposed within a 90-day timeframe, you don’t have to quarantine,” he said. “As long as it’s within that 90 days, you’ve completed your vaccine series and ... you are asymptomatic, then you are not required to quarantine with any exposure that you have.
“That may increase out (beyond) that 90 days, but we’ll see how that goes.”
Byers said they will be sending out a “HAN” soon, which will outline changes in those guidelines.
A HAN would go through the Mississippi Health Alert Network, an electronic notification system that sends communications to hospitals, healthcare providers, public health professionals, and other officials about “urgent healthcare incidents that could impact the health and safety of Mississippians,” according to the Mississippi State Department of Health website.
Leaders discussed their efforts to fight off the coronavirus pandemic at the weekly Zoom meeting held by the Mississippi State Medical Association.
In addition to relaxed quarantine rules, officials also addressed the icy weather expected to come through in the next few days.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said that drive-through locations could be closed to protect workers. “When you’re warm and comfortable in your car, it’s different than standing outside for 10 hours,” he said. We’ve had several people that we had to send to the ER for hypothermia yesterday. No kidding.
“We can’t have people (experiencing) physical harm if the weather’s bad,” he said. “Keep an eye on the department of health’s website.”
According to the MSDH site, if appointments are canceled, the department will automatically reschedule them for the same time on a different day. Patients also will be notified about the change by phone, text or email, the website states.