As COVID-19 continues its decline across both Mississippi and the United States, the Biden administration has made additional COVID-19 test kits available for free home delivery to every household in the country. Two orders of four kits each are now available per residential address for a total of eight test kits, free of charge and with no delivery fee. If a household already claimed their order of four test kits during January’s initial program, they may only claim one additional order.
Those who previously paid for COVID-19 test kits may apply for reimbursement through their insurance, with details depending on an individual's plan and insurer. More information on how to apply for reimbursement is available here.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers urged Mississippians to get tested if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19.
“If you haven't done it, I encourage folks to take the opportunity to go on the website and order those home tests for your family,” Byers said during a March 4 press briefing with the Mississippi State Medical Association. “You still need to be prepared. If you become symptomatic, get tested.”
Byers also cautioned Mississipians not to let their guard down, even if case numbers and hospitalizations are currently in decline.
“We're in a period now where we have low cases, but I think it's important for us to continue to remember that we don't know exactly what's around the corner with COVID-19,” Byers said.
“There may be an emergence of a new strain,” Byers said. “We may see additional cases. We may see that things go into more of a stable time where the cases are low, with periodic increases. I think that there's still a lot of work to do, still a lot to watch.”
Byers noted that Mississippi has only vaccinated 51% of the eligible populace. Of the vulnerable 5-to-11 age group, only 11% have so far been vaccinated.
“We still have opportunities in the state,” Byers said. “There are still things that we have to do.”
Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba lifted Jackson’s city-wide mask mandate last week, while also lifting restrictions on hours and capacities for businesses.
“I have imposed restrictions and limitations on certain businesses with public health in mind, and also understand that such restrictions and limitations complicate the economic picture for many business owners,” Lumumba said in a press release. “This executive order seeks to provide a further economic lifeline to businesses by lifting some restrictions of business services.”
Nationwide, however, today the Transportation Security Administration extended public transport mask requirements for another month. Previously set to expire on March 19, the TSA mask mandate will now continue until April 18.
“During that time, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor,” reads a statement from the CDC. “This revised framework will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science.”
Email Reporting Fellow Julian Mills at [email protected].