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Mississippi hospitals seeing impacts of rising COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi is now in what the State Health Officer says is the “4th wave” of COVID-19.

And he says it didn’t have to be this way.

Both cases and hospitalizations continue to climb.

Keep in mind that hospitals getting full statewide is not just because of COVID. COVID is complicating the state’s hospital capacity.

Just look at these numbers from UMMC. They went from having nine COVID patients in the hospital on July 6, to 44 on July 19.

“Those of us in medicine are bracing,” said Dr. Mark Horne. “Our nurses and our other hospital staff that remember the pain and the suffering of their patients and being overwhelmed if we were where our resources were stretched very limited, they remember what that was like.”

Horne, the president of the State Medical Association and Chief Medical Officer at South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel, says similar warning signs are there.

“We were seeing really unusual referral patterns,” noted Horne. “We would receive patients from other parts of the state. We would receive patients from out of state on occasion and we had a bit available and we’re starting to see that again.”

Lawrence County Hospital nurses say they were hopeful when they saw a successful vaccine site in their county.

“Now, we are seeing more people with COVID positive and probably 95-to-98% that are not vaccinated,” said Lawrence County Hospital RN and Nurse Educator Tonjia Lang.

They say they feel slightly more prepared this go around but make this note:

“For our community, with us not having ICU capabilities here, we want to educate, vaccinate,” said Dana Andrews, Director of Nursing. “And if at all possible, if someone has COVID, and they’re a candidate for monoclonal antibodies and to get that done to keep them out of the hospital.”

Within the last 7-10 days they’ve seen transfers getting more difficult. At the last peak, they had some transfers delayed by 24 hours.

“We don’t wanna see that happen again,” added Andrews. “We’re fearful that it may.”

The state has not gone back to halting elective procedures or some of those other actions taken previously.

Dobbs said Friday that those types of measures aren’t out of the question if things don’t start changing.

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