JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Mississippi and across the nation, hospitals are again struggling to keep up with the influx of patients.
Mississippi State Department of Health shared a graphic showing a massive spike in hospitalizations in the last two weeks. The hospitalization rate is the highest it’s been since August, when cases reached their peak so far.
“The extraordinary rise in COVID-19 admissions over the last two weeks is something we cannot sustain,” the post reads.
This comes as case totals and deaths continue to rise. Tuesday’s 53 reported deaths were the third highest total reported by MSDH since the pandemic’s onset.
Both previous record highs came in late August. With 910 confirmed patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and that number rapidly increasing, it’s likely hospitals become more inundated before things improve.
And with that, patients in an ICU and on ventilators could increase. The number of patients in ICU mirrors a similar pattern on the graph to total hospitalizations.
The number of patients on ventilators has recently started a slow upward trend, but was also at its highest in August when numbers were spiking.
Monday, University of Mississippi Medical Center leaders said their hospital cannot handle another surge of COVID patients.
Vice Chancellor Lou Ann Woodward called on Governor Tate Reeves to enact another statewide mask mandate, saying she believes the county-by-county method currently being used is not working.
This all comes days ahead of Thanksgiving, where many Americans are expected to travel to see families despite the warnings of health officials who are urging people to play it safe.
“Let me be clear,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said last week. “Things are bad and getting worse. We’re seeing the rate of a rise of hospitalizations that we haven’t seen yet at all. We are seeing increased case burdens that we haven’t seen yet at all.”
Dobbs says this surge is likely to be even worse than the one in the summer.