Photo: DeSoto County EMS Director Mark Davis discusses the latest COVID-19 case numbers with the County Board of Supervisors on Monday, July 19 in Hernando. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)
DeSoto County EMS Director Mark Davis told the County Board of Supervisors Monday of concerns he had for the increasing number of COVID-19 case numbers being reported in DeSoto County.
As of Monday, the number of cases reported from DeSoto County since the pandemic was declared in March of last year is at 22,732. Davis told the board the seven-and-14-day averages for cases in the county are also rising in the past two weeks since he last reported to the board.
“Our seven-day average for active cases is at 178.58, which is up 55.15,” Davis said. “Our 14-day average is 159, which is up 49.3.”
Davis also said the number of active cases reported in DeSoto County has also risen.
“Our active curve right now, as of Friday, we had 215 active cases in DeSoto County, which is 78 more from the last board meeting,” Davis said. “Deaths in the county are up five to 277.”
His total for deaths did not include one additional death reported by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Monday morning, making for a total of 278 victims related to the virus.
The latest strain of coronavirus, named the Delta variant, is of most concern to health officials, especially as it primarily strikes those under the age of 40 and those who have not been vaccinated.
“Right now, they say 57 percent of all cases in Mississippi are the Delta variant, as of last week, Davis observed. “We are seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases and right now they’re blaming most of that on the Delta variant. Most of the new cases coming out are that.”
In his report to the board, Davis also noted that ICU units at the county’s two hospitals, Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven and Methodist Olive Branch Hospital, both have seen fewer available ICU beds. He added the shortages are not due to coronavirus, however.
“Hospitals are full right now, but it’s not from COVID,” said Davis. “There are a lot of sick people out there right now but it’s not from COVID. That is a concern if we see an uptick in COVID hospitalizations, because the hospitals are already full from just normal medical problems.”
County Administrator Vanessa Lynchard quoted a media report that showed that, while the hospital ICU beds in the county are full, few of those patients are being treated for COVID-19.
Supervisors did go ahead and continue the emergency proclamation that allows the county to make special purchases if needed during the pandemic. The county remains in a state of emergency until at least Aug. 16. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves last month said the state’s COVID-19 emergency order would end on Aug. 15.