Mississippi’s COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise

Updated: Nov. 16, 2020 at 9:04 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hospitalizations and ICU usage are factors that state leaders watch closely.

From the start, Gov. Reeves has said a key part of the decision making is not allowing the healthcare system to be overwhelmed.

Here’s the chart that shows from early March until last Tuesday. There was a spike in hospitalizations in late July and early August.

The upward trend now is not only hospitalized COVID-19 patients but also those in the ICU and on ventilators. The state health officer making this comment last week.

“Be safe because if you get seriously ill, our resources are tapped out," said Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

The state’s only level one trauma center once again feeling that pressure mounting.

“Our hospital beds are full," said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, University of Mississippi Medical Center vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “Our ICUs are full. So, if in fact we see more of the COVID patients that are coming in and sick COVID patients, then what we get into is can we take transfers? Can we schedule surgeries for our own patients?”

“I really think it’s going to get bad for quite a while before it gets better with all these numbers we’re seeing and how widespread it is around the country and around the world," noted Dr. Alan Jones, assistant vice chancellor for clinical affairs.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center says it’s better prepared for another wave.

“We’re using those lessons that we learned to make sure that we can kind of ramp up and ramp down when needed as necessary as COVID volumes change around us," said Dr. Jones.

Some of the hospitalization numbers could be held to a lower number because they are expecting some antibody treatments to soon be available.

“It’s for outpatients only and it’s one infusion and we hope that the benefit is to keep them out of the hospital, to keep them from decompensating more so that they require hospitalization,” added Jones.

That antibody treatment will be for those most at risk of COVID complications, those who have underlying conditions or are immunosuppressed.

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