Governor Reeves details state plans for increased COVID-19 cases

Governor Reeves details state plans for increased COVID-19 cases

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - We’re a few days into the statewide shelter-in-place order.

Part of the reason for the order is to allow the healthcare system to prepare for a surge.

The latest models show Mississippi is 12 days away from peak resource use related to COVID-19. Governor Tate Reeves is giving the game plan of how the state is planning to have enough resources.

“A bed on its own without the proper staff is useless and we will need coordination within the system to ensure that everyone is operating from the same playbook,” said Governor Tate Reeves.

The first step was decompressing the hospitals with steps like delaying elective surgeries. But part of the planning is an across the board decision on treating patients.

“People with severe symptoms comes from our larger hospitals... those with larger staffs, sophisticated technology and ICU capacity,” said Reeves of the most acute patients.

Those who are recovering or don’t need acute care?

“We are working with our smaller rural hospitals to develop contracts where they would be paid by the state to house COVID-19 patients who do not require that same level of treatment," noted Reeves. "They will serve patients who are through the period of needing acute care or have not yet reached that point..”

The state is also looking at two options for additional beds.

“These will serve a similar need as our smaller hospitals," said Reeves. "We are working to identify a site in North Mississippi that could handle approximately 200 additional beds. And we have identified a space in South Mississippi...Camp Shelby which is a national guard facility outside Hattiesburg.”

While the projections are improving, Reeves doesn’t want to slack up on the state plan.

“I’m not telling you today that we’re going to need these 200 beds in North Mississippi where these 200 beds in South Mississippi," he added. "I’m telling you that our approach is we would rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”

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