This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi’s top public health official says the state is seeing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, with one health official saying that the “4th wave” has arrived.

“Very sad indeed. Didn’t have to be this way. 4th wave is here,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs tweeted on Monday.

The state Health Department says 2,326 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Friday through Sunday. That’s largest three-day increase since February.

Mississippi has one of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates for COVID-19 and this surge is happening as schools prepare for the new academic year. The state Board of Education says in-person classes should be the main form of instruction.

Last school year, districts could offer in-person or online classes, or a combination.