Hospitals feel impacts of Mississippi not seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases

Updated: Jun. 2, 2020 at 7:23 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi hasn’t seen a drop off in COVID-19 cases. It’s why you’re hearing state officials pleading--yet again---this week for folks to take personal responsibility.

Governor Tate Reeves said yesterday he doesn't want to have to roll back any of these re-openings or restrictions that have been lifted. But we know that one metric Reeves and the state look to when making those kinds of decisions is not just case count but hospital capacity.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs has taken to social media more in recent days to send a message to Mississippians that COVID-19 isn’t over.

“Ongoing case counts which are pretty significant and growing. Although we are testing more, it’s not that. It’s really there’s cases out there. It’s happening.”

Dobbs’ tweet Tuesday morning shows Mississippi’s rising cases alongside other states.

He’s said it’s not just about preventing transmission but also about the impact it’s having on the health care system, especially regionally. A look at the Department of Health’s hospitalization chart shows the number of patients in the ICU and those on ventilators have remained steady through the last month.

“Over the weekend we had the most ventilated patients with COVID-19 we had this whole time," said Dobbs Monday. "We’re down to 97 now but over the weekend we had 108 people who had coronavirus who had respiratory failure on the ventilators.”

President-Elect of the Mississippi State Medical Association Dr. W. Mark Horne says what the state did early on was effective at keeping us from spiking early.

“Unfortunately, we have hit this long slow plateau," explained Dr. Horne. "It is very very painful.”

Horne says they’re also finding that many of the severe COVID-19 patients are requiring extended hospital stays that pull from resources and add to the concern.

“This should be a time we were seeing a decline and we’re not and we worry that that means that things are going to be significantly worse going forward if we can’t break the back of this going back to the basics of preventing the spread the virus,” added Horne.

Dr. Horne says there says good personal hygiene and public health measures are the only way to slow this virus. He notes good intentions aren’t enough.

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