Failure to comply is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of $500 and/or six months of jail time, according to the order. If a life-threatening disease is involved, disobeying the order of a health officer is a felony, carrying a $5,000 fine and/or five years of jail time.
"All persons residing in Mississippi must immediately home-isolate on first knowledge of infection with COVID-19," Dobbs wrote.
He also stated in the order that infected people undergoing isolation at home should avoid contact with other household members or wear a mask if it is unavoidable. While a negative COVID-19 test is not required to end home isolation after 10 days, people must be fever-free for at least 24 hours.
The order comes as Mississippi faces a surge in infections with hospitalizations and ICU bed occupancy at or near pandemic highs.
Interestingly, the rise in number of new cases coincided with a productive stretch in the state's vaccination campaign. Mississippi health officials have reported 7,249 new infections and 56 COVID-related deaths from Aug. 20 to 22.
A single-day record of 5,048 new cases was reported on Friday. The previous highest one-day total was a week prior, on Aug. 13, with 5,023 cases. From Aug. 13 to 19, the state reported over 25,000 new COVID-19 cases.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Mississippi were close to their pandemic peak on Sunday, with 1,563 patients in hospital, 465 in ICU and 329 on ventilators.
Only about 37 percent of Mississippians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Mississippi State Department of Health. But the number of people who are getting vaccinated against the coronavirus has been increasing. (Related: Fauci admits covid "vaccines" are spreading disease.)
Over a hundred thousand have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose in the last two weeks, including a seven-day period in which over 70,000 Mississippians got vaccinated – the most in a week since April, according to state department of health data.
What's happening in Mississippi is consistent with the assessment made by scientists from other countries that mass vaccinations are not going to eradicate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Those scientists are now recommending that the virus be allowed to circulate throughout the population.
"We don't have anything that will stop transmission, so I think we are in a situation where herd immunity is not a possibility and I suspect the virus will throw up a new variant that is even better at infecting vaccinated individuals," Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told a parliamentary panel earlier this month.
Pollard argued that if mass testing was not stopped, "the UK could be in a situation of continually vaccinating the population." He said that only those with symptoms should be tested while others should go about their daily lives.
Infectious disease expert Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, told the same panel that vaccination would not bring about herd immunity. He said it was time to stop concentrating on supposed cases rather than actual infections.
"We need to start moving away from just reporting infections or just reporting positive cases admitted to hospital, to actually start reporting the number of people who are ill because of COVID," said Hunter, who also advises the World Health Organization (WHO) on the virus. "Otherwise we are going to be frightening ourselves with very high numbers that actually don't translate into disease burden."
According to recent reports, vaccinated and unvaccinated people have a similar viral load when they catch the virus and likely have the same odds of transmitting it to others.
Iceland's state epidemiologist arrived at the same conclusion as a record number of people in Iceland have been infected in recent weeks despite the fact that the majority of the population has been vaccinated.
"We really cannot do anything else but allow the virus to take its course in order for the population to achieve herd immunity," said Porolfur Gudnason, chief epidemiologist of Iceland's Directorate of Health. "We need to try to vaccinate and better protect those who are vulnerable, but let us tolerate the infection. It is not a priority now to vaccinate everyone with the third dose."
In March, vaccine expert Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche urged governments to stop vaccination drives. He said in an open letter that vaccinations will fuel the spread of new dangerous variants of the virus.
Vanden Bosschek, a seasoned vaccine developer who coordinated the Ebola vaccine program at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), said that the ongoing mass vaccination drives are "likely to further enhance adaptive immune escape as none of the current vaccines will prevent replication or transmission of viral variants."
Immune escape is a term used to describe when the host can no longer recognize and counter a pathogen such as a relevant variant or mutant of SARS-CoV-2.
"The more we use these vaccines for immunizing people in the midst of a pandemic, the more infectious the virus will become," Vanden Bossche wrote. "With increasing infectiousness comes an increased likelihood of viral resistance to the vaccines." (Related: Science: "Fully vaccinated" bodies are breeding grounds for new coronavirus "variants.")
Meanwhile, refining or improving the vaccines will increase the selection pressure. Selection pressure is a term used to describe the process that helps an organism or pathogen to evolve in ways that make it better adapted to its changing environment. An antibiotic resistance, which is caused by the overuse of antibiotic drugs, is a good example of selection pressure.
The virus will effectively outsmart the highly specific antigen-based vaccines that are being used and tweaked.
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