Pandemic Task Team Update: July 14, 2021


Grace and peace to you,

For those who are in great health—as believers, we celebrate your wellness and give God praise for that good and perfect gift. As followers of Christ, we are compelled to be sensitive to the health and well-being of all God’s children and actively engage in ways to align with Jesus’ desire that we all experience abundant health. As Methodists committed to Wesleyan perspectives of connection, we must look beyond our own wants and health and consider how we can have a life-giving impact on our surrounding communities and the world. For those who are not yet vaccinated, prayerfully consider getting the vaccine not just for yourself, but also as an act of love for your neighbors. Consider those who face long-term health conditions due to COVID, and those who are wondering if their will ever get to hear their loved ones laugh again around the dinner table at Christmas. Consider how your one act of getting vaccinated can contribute to the abundant health of your family, your neighbors and the world.

The Mississippi Conference Pandemic Task Team continues to support and strongly encourage faith communities and their pandemic response-focused collaborative leadership teams to adhere to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH).

CDC K-12 and Other Updated Guidance

The CDC recently released updated guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 schools and the state health department will add some more Mississippi-specific guidance to that in the near future.

Due to Mississippi experiencing a rapid increase in delta variant cases, hospitalizations and outbreaks combined with the low overall vaccination rate in the state, MSDH is making the following recommendations through July 26, 2021:

  • All Mississippians 12 years of age and older should receive COVID-19 vaccination.
  • All those who are unvaccinated should wear a mask when indoors in public settings.
  • All Mississippi residents 65 years of age and older and those with chronic underlying medical conditions should avoid all indoor mass gatherings (regardless of vaccination status).
COVID Testing and Vaccination Availability

All Mississippians can be tested for COVID-19 free of charge at regularly scheduled county health department locations. Click here for information about testing locations and how to schedule getting a test.

Vaccinations are widely available around the state at pharmacies, hospitals and private physicians’ clinics. Here are listings of free MSDH vaccination sites and pop ups, and local pharmacies and healthcare providers giving vaccinations across the state. If you are homebound and need assistance getting your COVID-19 vaccination, send an email to or call 877.978.6453.

Host a Local Vaccination Event at Your Faith Community

MSDH will assist organizations, cities, groups or individuals interested in holding a COVID-19 vaccination event in their community, particularly in rural or minority communities with less access to COVID-19 vaccinations. Call the Mississippi COVID-19 Hotline at 877.978.6453 for more details, or email

The war with our unseen enemy—the coronavirus—is not over. Continue doing what we know works—sanitize hands often, and if you are unvaccinated practice social distancing indoors and wear a mask indoors around others.

For those with additional questions for the pandemic task team, we welcome your questions at

Praying that your soul prospers as your health prospers,

The Mississippi Conference Pandemic Task Team
                Dr. Marcus Gaut                             Dr. Bob Ford
                Dr. Steve Shirley                            Dr. Thais Walden
                Mrs. Lynette Harris                        Mrs. Sarah King
                Rev. Haywood Hannah                  Rev. Trey Skaggs
                Rev. Dr. Joe Ranager                    Mrs. Jamie Beatty
                Mr. Cameron Cloud
Ex-officio members:
                Bishop James E. Swanson Sr.      Rev. Vickie White
                Rev. Dayna Goff                            Rev. Fred Britton
                Miss Jasmine Haynes                   Mr. Mike Howington

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