Mississippi looks ahead to possible contingency plans if hospitals run out of options to expand capacity

Mississippi looks ahead to possible contingency plans if hospitals run out of options to expand capacity

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Painting a picture of a system under strain, UMMC Vice Chancellor shared a graphic today on the current situation.

The opening line stating that the crisis in Mississippi is worsening and the outlook for hospitals is “grim.” Many of those sentiments echoed in comments from the State Hospital Asssociation.

”So, hospitals are all being faced with the challenge downstream of where we should have stepped up on the front end and tried to do more to prevent the spread,” said Mississippi Hospital Association President/CEO Tim Moore.

”Hospitals are doing everything they possibly can to help solve this problem,” added Moore. “We need the public’s help.”

The short term contingency plans include things like asking hospitals to activate surge plans and reserve certain amount of ICU space for COVID-19 patients. But what about the long-term plan?

”At some point we may have to open up a ward style location in a non-traditional place like you’ve seen in other states,” explains State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “I regret that we’re getting to the point where that’s getting to a real reality but we’re looking at the logistics of doing that and the logistics of staffing that.“

But Dobbs says it won’t just be a new look outside the hospitals but inside them as well.

”We’re going to be sticking patients in every nook and cranny of a hospital while we’re standing up that capability. It’s going to be stressful to work in a hospital. I would want you to thank your neighbors and friends who work in healthcare because it’s been tough up to now. It’s about to get even tougher.”

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