Mississippi State Department of Health

Recommendations for Universal Masks for Healthcare Professionals

Given the rising number of cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, and the increased risk of exposure to healthcare professionals and patients, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) recommends that healthcare workers wear masks throughout the workday. N95 or KN95 masks should not be used routinely but preserved for those caring directly for patients with COVID-19 or those suspected of having COVID-19. This recommendation applies to healthcare professionals working in patient care areas, even when they are not in a patient-facing role. Healthcare professionals included in this recommendation are all paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings with the potential for either direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, contaminated medical supplies or contaminated environmental surfaces.

Please realize masks should be used in addition to (not instead of) continuing proper distancing and proper hand hygiene.

Proper hand hygiene should be performed after donning and doffing the mask. Masks should be replaced when they become soiled, moist or damaged. Masks can be replaced at various time points as directed by your healthcare institution, following hygienic principles. If surgical masks are not readily available due to restrictions in supply, masks of similar quality produced by local industry or homemade cloth masks can be used as directed by your institution. Cloth masks should be laundered at home daily in hot water and dried with high heat. See CDC guidelines for cloth masks ».

When caring for patients with possible COVID-19 symptoms, MSDH still recommends a minimum complement of a surgical mask, eye protection and gloves. When caring for patients with known COVID-19 we strongly recommend strict compliance with CDC infection control guidance »

Testing for COVID-19 is not performed at county health departments. Please contact your physician or a healthcare provider.

Healthcare Provider Guidance and Resources

Patient Handouts

Specimen Collection

Specimen Packaging

Specimen Transport and Delivery

Specimen Reporting

Reporting COVID-19

MSDH is transitioning away from faxed reporting of COVID-19 positives to a new online reporting system. You must register for the new NBS reporting system, even if you have already been reporting cases online.

Other Clinical

Health Facilities


Map and Directions for Laboratory Dropoff

The Dr. F.E.”ED” Thompson, Jr. Public Health Laboratory Facility is on the State Department of Health's central office campus in Jackson, MS at 350 East Woodrow Wilson Drive, Jackson, 39216.

Local Delivery of Samples: Drop samples off at the rear of the Thompson lab building. Detailed instructions are in our sample shipping guidance.

Dropoff hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00–4:30.

Mississippi Health Alert Network

CDC Guidances

Healthcare and EMS

Persons Under Investigation (PUI)

Other Guidances

More from the CDC

Links referenced
MS-HAN    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,21697,420,694,html
Report a COVID-19 case via NBS (existing NBS users only)    https://msnbs.inductivehealth.com/
User guide    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,10135,194,pdf/NBS_data_entry.pdf
See CDC guidelines for cloth masks »    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
CDC infection control guidance »    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control.html
Guidance for Discontinuation of Isolation and Transmission-Based Precautions in Patients with COVID-19    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8632,420,pdf/Discontinuation_of_Isolation.pdf
Discharge Guidance for Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Patients    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8600,420,pdf/COVID-19_discharge.pdf
CDC Guidance for Healthcare Personnel with Potential COVID-19 Exposure    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html
Handout: What to Do After You Have Been Tested for COVID-19    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,9916,420,pdf/HCP_C19_After_Your_Test.pdf
Handout: Home Isolation for Individuals with COVID-19    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,9915,420,pdf/HCP_C19_self_isolate.pdf
Handout: Instructions for Individuals with COVID-19 Exposure (Self-Quarantine)    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,9914,420,pdf/HCP_C19_Quarantine_Instructions.pdf
What to Do After You Have Been Tested for COVID-19    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,9916,420,pdf/HCP_C19_After_Your_Test.pdf
Home Isolation for Individuals with COVID-19    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,9915,420,pdf/HCP_C19_self_isolate.pdf
Instructions for Individuals with COVID-19 Exposure (Self-Quarantine)    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,9914,420,pdf/HCP_C19_Quarantine_Instructions.pdf
COVID-19 Specimen Collection    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8501,420,pdf/COVID-19_Specimen_Collection.pdf
COVID-19 Lab Requisition Form    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8500,420,pdf/COVID-19_Laboratory_Requisition.pdf
COVID-19 Refrigerated Specimen Packaging    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8499,420,pdf/COVID-19_Refrigerated_Specimen_Packaging.pdf
COVID-19 Frozen Specimen Packaging    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8498,420,pdf/COVID-19_Frozen_Specimen_Packaging.pdf
COVID-19 Specimen Transport and Delivery    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8497,420,pdf/COVID-19_Specimen_Transport.pdf
COVID-19 Specimen Reporting    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8496,420,pdf/COVID-19_Specimen_Reporting.pdf
MPHL Fax Reporting Agreement    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8495,420,pdf/MPHL_Fax_Reporting_Agreement.pdf
Register an account now    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,15382,194,html
Case reporting and user guide    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,0,194,html
Submit a COVID-19 report online    https://apps.msdh.ms.gov/epitracks/
MSDH online reporting user guide    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,5816,194,pdf/EpiTracksUserGuide.pdf
Updated guidelines for submitting COVID-19 reports to MSDH    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/8677.pdf
Workflow: Clinician Guide for Outpatient Management of COVID-19 in the Outpatient Setting    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8479,420,pdf/COVID-19ClinicianWorkflow.pdf
Decision Diagram for Clinical Coding of COVID-19    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8487,420,pdf/Latorre_flowchart_coding_covid-19.pdf
Long-term care facility guidance documents    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,21866,420,html
Death Reporting Q & A for Medical Examiners, Coroners and Physicians    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,22075,420,694,html
CDC Guidance on Certifying COVID-19 Deaths    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/vsrg/vsrg03-508.pdf
MSDH Guidance for Funeral Homes and Mortuaries    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,8559,420,pdf/FuneralHomes_COVID19_guidance.pdf
How to get a Mississippi death certificate    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/31,0,109,809,html
Mississippi Health Alert Network messages related to COVID-19    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,21697,420,694,html
Home Care Guidance    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-home-care.html
Discontinuation of Home Isolation for Persons with COVID-19    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html
Healthcare Infection Control Guidance    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control.html
Clinical Care Guidance    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html
Healthcare Personnel with Potential COVID-19 Exposure Guidance    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html
Inpatient Obstetric Healthcare Guidance    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/inpatient-obstetric-healthcare-guidance.html
Guidance for EMS    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-for-ems.html
Evaluating PUIs and Asymptomatic Close Contacts of Confirmed Cases    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/guidance-evaluating-pui.html
Collection and Submission of Postmortem Specimens from Deceased PUI    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-postmortem-specimens.html
Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation (PUI)    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html
Strategies for optimizing the supply of N95 respirators    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-supply-strategies.html
Guidance for extended use of N95 respirators in healthcare settings    https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/recommendedguidanceextuse.html

Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm

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