Covid CDC
Covid CDC

The mission of Forrest General Hospital, along with the other Forrest Health facilities, is to do what is best for our patients. We have been here for you and are here for you now, prepared to care for every patient who walks through our doors. Your health and wellbeing is our greatest concern and top priority, and we are dedicated to providing a safe environment for you to get the care you need. Please do not delay or avoid care. Doing so could affect your health outcomes significantly. Talk to your physician if you have concerns about seeking care.

Below is basic information and a list of resources to help you understand and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

COVID-19 GENERAL INFORMATION

According to the CDC a novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

The CDC’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website list the following symptoms.  These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

According to the CDC website, older adults and people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Children who have medical complexity, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to other children. CDC information for high-risk populations, including a list of who is at risk and who should take extra precautions, and how to prepare is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html

If anyone thinks they might have COVID-19 or are exhibiting the common symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider and be evaluated. However, before visiting to a physician’s office, an immediate care facility, or the emergency room, call ahead and alert the medical facility. This allows medical personnel to prepare prior to arrival. There are many clinics who provide COVID-19 tests. The Cough and Fever Clinic, a partnership Hattiesburg Clinic and Forrest General, is located at Cloverleaf Medical Plaza, 5909 US Highway 49, across from Walmart. The clinic will no longer accept walk-in appointments for COVID-19 testing, however, curbside COVID testing is still available. Please visit https://www.hattiesburgclinic.com/curbsidecovid/link for instructions on scheduling your appointment for curbside testing. The Cough and Fever Clinic is currently a COVID-19 treatment facility and will only treat patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Treatments offered include antibody infusions and follow-up appointments for COVID-19 positive patients. Additionally, all COVID-19 treatment appointments must be scheduled prior to arrival. Visit https://www.hattiesburgclinic.com/curbsidecovid/link for more details or call (601) 261-1533. 

If anyone is having trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, exhibiting new signs of confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or has bluish lips or face, call 911 and seek emergency medical attention immediately! Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who may have COVID-19.

  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a facemask
  • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect
  • Monitor your health daily and be alert for symptoms
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Individuals should follow the travel advisories posted on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website, https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
More information on visiting beaches and pools and travel in the US, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides updates and additional information on their COVID-19 Resource Page, including topics such as: how it spreads; symptoms; prevention and treatment; testing; and additional FAQs.

COVID-19 TESTING INFORMATION

There are many clinics who provide COVID-19 tests. The Cough and Fever Clinic, a partnership Hattiesburg Clinic and Forrest General, is located at Cloverleaf Medical Plaza, 5909 US Highway 49, across from Walmart. The clinic will no longer accept walk-in appointments for COVID-19 testing, however, curbside COVID testing is still available. Please click here for instructions on scheduling your appointment for curbside testing.

To view the full list of Mississippi Testing facilities visit the Mississippi State Department of Health website. 

COVID-19 VACCINATION INFORMATION
AND SAFETY

Forrest General Hospital is not providing the vaccine to the public. However, the hospital has partnered with Hattiesburg Clinic to create HealthWorks Immunization Clinic. See “When and Where Can I Get the Vaccine?” below for the most recent information regarding appointments at HealthWorks Immunization Clinic.

HealthWorks Immunization Clinic
COVID-19 vaccines have been made available to persons aged 12 years and older. To check vaccination availability at
HealthWorks Immunization Clinic, a service of Forrest General Hospital and Hattiesburg Clinic,  please visit this link. Appointments at HealthWorks Immunization Clinic can be made via Iris or by calling 261-1620. 

Everyone who already has a first-dose or second-dose appointment is highly encouraged to keep their appointments. On Monday, August 9, Healthworks Immunization Clinic is moving to #7 Medical Blvd. Hours for the clinic are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.

Forrest Health Regional Clinics – Vaccine Status: 

Highland Pediatric and Primary Care Clinic, Highland Internal Medicine Clinic,  Picayune:  COVID-19 vaccines for ages 18 and up are now available. For Highland Pediatric and Primary Care Rural Health Clinic please call (601) 358-9765, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For Highland Internal Medicine Clinic, please call (601) 799-4777, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Highland Community Hospital is currently offering Community COVID Care. Full-service COVID-19 rapid testing, vaccinations, and monoclonal antibody infusions are all available for patients from the comfort and safety of their vehicle. The Community COVID Care program is open every day from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m in Highland Community Hospital’s parking lot. 

Jefferson Davis Rural Health Clinic Prentiss: COVID-19 vaccines for ages 18 and up are now available during all open clinic hours. COVID-19 vaccines for ages 12 – 17 are available by appointment only on Thursdays, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., and Fridays 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. To make an appointment, please call (601) 792-2200 Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Marion General Rural Health Clinic, Columbia: COVID-19 vaccines for ages 18 and up are now available during all open clinic hours. COVID-19 vaccines for ages 12 – 17 are available by appointment only on Thursdays, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., and Fridays 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. To make an appointment, please call (601) 261-2940 Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Pearl River Family Clinic, Poplarville: COVID-19 vaccines for ages 18 and up. To schedule an appointment, call (601) 403-8284 Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Walthall Rural Health Clinic, Tylertown: COVID-19 vaccines for ages 18 and up are now available during all open clinic hours. COVID-19 vaccines for ages 12 – 17 are available by appointment only on Mondays and Tuesdays, 1:30 – 6:30 p.m. To make an appointment, call (601) 876-5835, Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The Mississippi State Department of Health provides a listing of vaccination sites and eligibility on their website. 

Everyone who already has a first-dose or second-dose appointment is highly encouraged to keep their appointments.

We will provide more information on this site as we learn more. Please continue to check back with us for the latest updates

You probably have many questions about the vaccine and what to expect once it is available. The first thing to do is to learn as much about the types of vaccines and the benefits. When you go to your appointment, you should receive what is called a Fact Sheet that tells you more about the specific vaccine you will be receiving here is the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Fact Sheet, and here is Moderna’s Fact Sheet. At this time, these are the only two COVID-19 vaccines that are approved and being distributed to healthcare workers and long-term care facilities. With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need two shots, so go ahead and schedule your second appointment at the time of your first one.

There is more detailed information about what to expect before, during and after your visit here. 

Be sure to speak to your healthcare provider if you have questions.

On December 11, 2020, the FDA granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which has been shown to be safe and effective for use in people ages 12 or older as determined by data from the manufacturer and findings from large clinical trials. The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine has been approved for those aged 18 years or older. Click here to learn more. 

Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. However, your arm may be sore or red. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a week. Some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is working and building up protection to disease.

Pregnant women have not been part of the studies. According to the CDC, while studies have not yet been done, based on how mRNA vaccines work. Experts believe they are unlikely to pose a risk for people who are pregnant. However, pregnant women should consult with their physician and discuss things like:

  • The likelihood of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Risks of COVID-19 to them and potential risks to their fetuses
  • What is known about the vaccine: how well it works to develop protection in the body, known side effects of the vaccine, and lack of data during pregnancy.


Information about allergic reactions from the CDC. 

No. According to the CDC, “None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States uses the live virus that causes COVID-19. You may have side effects like a slight fever after you get a vaccine. This is normal and a sign that your immune system is learning how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Click here to learn the facts behind COVID-19 vaccines. 

Learn more about the science behind the vaccine below.

 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are new types of vaccines called mRNA vaccines, or messenger RNA vaccines. These vaccines have been held to the same safety and effectiveness standard as all other types of vaccines in the United States. Here is the FDA infographic, “The Path for a COVID-19 Vaccine from Research to Emergency Use Authorization” that describes the process in an easy to understand chart.

According to the CDC, “To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.” Learn more about mRNA vaccines and other types of vaccines

The CDC explains how COVID-19 vaccines work this way:

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection, but with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.

Learn more detailed information about how the vaccines work at the CDC website.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or booster, can provide added protection. Currently, there are qualifying conditions to receive a third dose that include: recent cancer treatment, organ transplant, stem cell transplant, having a disease such as HIV which affects the immune system, or taking medication such as high-dose steroids. To receive a third dose from the MSDH sites, individuals must:

  1. be immunocompromised

  2. be fully vaccinated with two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine; and,

  3. have waited at least 28 days from your last dose).

More information from the MS State Department of Health on third doses can be found [here]. https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,22816,420,976.html#third

If you qualify for a booster vaccine, make an appointment with your county health department or through your doctor or regular health care provider. The Mississippi State Department of Health if offering 3rd doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to individuals who qualify (see previous question).

COVID-19 DELTA VARIANT INFORMATION

A “variant” is a change in the virus through mutation. Viruses constantly change through mutation. According to the CDC, new variants of a virus are expected to occur. There have been several variations of the virus that causes COVID-19.  The CDC describes it best:

If you think about a virus like a tree growing and branching out; each branch on the tree is slightly different than the others. By comparing the branches, scientists can label them according to the differences. These small differences, or variants, have been studied and identified since the beginning of the pandemic. –Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/variant.html  

Yes, the Mississippi State Department of Health says the Delta variant is much more contagious. It spreads twice as easily as other strains of the virus. This means it can get into your system much more quickly than the previous strains.

Although no vaccine is 100% effective, vaccines do decrease your chances of getting the virus, including the Delta variant. If you’ve been vaccinated and do become infective with the virus, the symptoms are generally less severe. Findings from a study funded by Public Health England and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, state “Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the delta variant as compared with the alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine doses.” They also noted the importance of receiving two doses as compared to only one.

Source: “Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccines against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant”, July 21, 2021, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2108891

Yes, according to CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, being vaccinated does not prevent you from spreading the virus if you should become infected. In an interview with CBS on July 28, she stated, “If you are vaccinated and are one of those rare breakthrough infections, you actually have the capacity to pass it to somebody else.”

Yes, according to CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, being vaccinated does not prevent you from spreading the virus if you should become infected. In an interview with CBS on July 28, she stated, “If you are vaccinated and are one of those rare breakthrough infections, you actually have the capacity to pass it to somebody else.”

MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY TREATMENT

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are proteins produce by our bodies to fight infections. Monoclonal antibodies are copies of these antibodies that can be used to treat infections. nearly 100 mAbs are FDA-approved to treat serious health conditions, like certain cancers and autoimmune diseases. Monoclonal antibodies ARE NOT VACCINES.

The FDA has authorized emergency use of monoclonal antibody infusions for treatment of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older with mild to moderate symptoms who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms or need for hospitalization. 

Regen-COV  (casirivimab and imdevimab) is the monoclonal antibody that is currently being used at Forrest Health facilities. Regen-COV may be given within 10 days of a positive COVID-19 result, but it is beneficial to receive it as soon as possible.

COVID-19 positive patients who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms or need for hospitalization.
 
Criteria for Identifying High Risk Individuals:
The following medical conditions or other factors may place adults and pediatric patients (age 12-17 years and weighing at least 40 kg) at higher risk for progression to severe COVID-19:
• Older age (for example, age ≥65 years of age)
• Obesity or being overweight
• Pregnancy
• Chronic kidney disease
• Diabetes
• Immunosuppressive disease or immunosuppressive treatment
• Cardiovascular disease (including congenital heart disease) or hypertension
• Chronic lung diseases (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma [moderate-to-severe], interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension)
• Sickle cell disease
• Neurodevelopmental disorders (for example, cerebral palsy) or other conditions that confer medical complexity (for example, genetic or metabolic syndromes and severe congenital anomalies)
• Having a medical-related technological dependence (for example, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID 19))
 
Other medical conditions or factors (for example, race or ethnicity) may also place individual patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19 and authorization of REGEN-COV under the EUA is not limited to the medical conditions or factors listed above. Healthcare providers should consider the benefit-risk for an individual patient.

Patients that are requiring oxygen due to COVID-19 are not eligible. 

Yes. For now, Forrest Health treatments are infusions but that could change over time to include injections. Patients with a COVID-19 positive result or their providers can call 601-288-4444 to schedule an appointment at one of the Forrest Health regional hospitals listed below. An order must be placed before an appointment is scheduled.  Scheduling lines will be open Monday-Friday 8:00 AM -5:00 PM.

Forrest Health regional hospitals are located at:

  • Highland Community Hospital—Picayune*
  • Pearl River County Hospital—Poplarville
  • Marion General Hospital—Columbia
  • Jeff Davis Community Hospital—Prentiss
  • Walthall General Hospital—Tylertown

Additionally, the Cough & Fever Clinic, a partnership of Forrest General Hospital and Hattiesburg Clinic, provides monoclonal antibody treatments to those who qualify and whose provider has ordered the treatment. Please contact your provider or call the clinic at (601) 261-1533 for more information.

*Highland Community Hospital is currently offering Community COVID Care. Full-service COVID-19 rapid testing, vaccinations, and monoclonal antibody infusions are all available for patients from the comfort and safety of their vehicle. The Community COVID Care program is open every day from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m in Highland Community Hospital’s parking lot.
 

For COVID-19 Centers of Excellence delivering monoclonal antibody infusions, visit https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,23128,420,694.html.

Patient should be evaluated for eligibility by the provider that diagnosed them or their primary care provider.  The provider will need to order for the patient to receive Regen-COV before scheduling occurs. Call 288-4444 for more details regarding orders for treatment at one of the Forrest Health regional hospitals.

Regen-COV is an intravenous infusion.  The monoclonal antibody is infused over about 20 minutes.  After the infusion, you will be monitored for 1 hour.

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Visitation Policy

Information regarding updated visitation policies at Forrest Health facilities.
As we continue to see high case numbers, hospitalizations, we encourage you to seek out valid vaccine information from a trusted physician – your physician.

Hattiesburg
Clinic

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Resource Page

City of
Hattiesburg

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Resource Page

Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Resource Page

Mississippi State Department of Health

The Mississippi State Department of Health is now operating a hotline for convenient answers to questions about COVID-19 by phone. Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday):
877-978-6453.

Additional Resources

Moderna Fact Sheet

Pfizer Fact Sheet

Johnson and Johnson
Fact Sheet

What to Expect When Receiving the Vaccine

Vaccine Benefits

VIDEO RESOURCES

COVID-19 Press Conference
Mississippi Speaker of the House, Philip Gunn
Steven Stogner, MD
Eric Jordan, MD
August 18, 2021

COVID-19 Q&A:
Steven Farrell, MD, and
Bryan Batson, MD
August 5, 2021

COVID-19
Press Conference
July 28, 2021

Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg Clinic Announce COVID-19 Immunization Clinic

Forrest General Hospital and Hattiesburg Clinic announced today another joint venture in the battle against COVID-19. HealthWorks Immunization Clinic, a collaboration between the two health care entities, will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to individuals, 75 and older, effective Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.

Forrest General employees say why they are choosing to take the vaccine.

Forrest General employees share why they choose to take the vaccine and what it means to them.