Mississippi’s hospitals watching increasing COVID-19 trends carefully

Mississippi’s hospitals watching increasing COVID-19 trends carefully

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Health reporting more than 1,300 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday. That’s the first time there have been more than 1,000 cases in one day since August.

Mississippi hospitals are bracing for a domino effect they’ve become all too familiar with.

“Case numbers first," explained Dr. LouAnn Woodward, UMMC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of School of Medicine. "Then, the hospitalizations hit, the critical care beds and then the patient deaths.”

The numbers at UMMC stood around 42 COVID patients as of Thursday morning. Less than half of what they were seeing at the peak. But, that’s not the full story.

“We are still catching up from before," described Woodward. "So, another onslaught from COVID will put more stress on the system and will then not allow us to catch up for people who may have put off surgeries or may have put off care that they needed. And we don’t want to be back in that situation again.”

St. Dominic’s has also felt some relief from the crisis.

“From a peak of 70 during the summer to 13 COVID since five days ago," said Dr. Eric McVey, St. Dominic’s Chief Medical Officer. "And now we’re at 23. So, there’s been, as a percentage, a substantial uptick. However, it’s far from where we’ve been before.”

They’ve been able to close some of their COVID units but say they are prepared to re-open them if needed.

“That is a quick turnaround. Twenty-four hours we typically can convert another unit to negative pressure," said McVey.

Governor Tate Reeves allowed the state wide mask mandate to expire two weeks ago. Here’s what he’s saying now.

“Thursday’s are typically larger days compared to a Sunday or a Monday when we typically have much smaller days," said Reeves Thursday. "The reality is whether the 1,300 that is reported today all came from actual tests from yesterday or not, time will tell. Regardless of that we’ve seen an uptick in the total number of cases and we’re going to treat it accordingly.”

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