Mississippi officials and hospital executives said that no intensive care beds were available at hospitals in the state early Monday as Mississippi grapples with an escalating COVID-19 surge and low vaccination numbers.
Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for The University of Mississippi Medical Center, tweeted Monday morning that the state had run out of available ICU beds for COVID and non-COVID patients. Her statement was echoed by state health officer Thomas Dobbs, who added that there were also 200 patients waiting in emergency rooms for open hospital beds.
There were ZERO available ICU beds in Mississippi as of early this morning. None.— LouAnn Woodward M.D. (@LAWoodwardMD) August 9, 2021
That means hospitals across the state may not be able to provide the level of care needed to you or your loved one. Not just for COVID-19 but FOR ANY EMERGENCY CARE.
The capacity updates come after WLBT reported that last Wednesday only six ICU beds were available in the entire state. ICU bed availability is an indicator of the strain COVID is placing on Mississippi hospitals. The state is currently battling a 7-day average of 2,092 new daily COVID cases ― a level approaching the height of last winter’s surge when Mississippi saw about 2,400 new cases a day on average, according to a New York Times tracker.
According to Dobbs, 97 percent of all new cases are from unvaccinated Mississippians. The state has the lowest vaccination rate in the country with only 44 percent of its adults fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times.
With the Delta variant surging across the state, health care workers at one of Mississippi’s health service providers are seeing younger patients being brought to their facilities for care.
In an online statement, Singing River Health System reported an outpatient average age of 38 and an inpatient average age of 53. Its youngest admitted patient is only 14.
To fight the virus and eliminate a strain on nurses and doctors, it is encouraging Mississippians to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.
“Argue away, but those are the numbers and they along with this statement are indisputable: the vaccine will keep you ALIVE and out of the hospital,” said Singing River Health System in a statement.
Maria Elena Little Endara can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.