Hospital beds at premium as coronavirus cases grow

There were 77 new coronavirus cases reported from DeSoto County in the Tuesday morning report on the current pandemic from the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). 

That brings the total number of COVID-19 cases from the county since March to 10,409, remaining the highest number of cases from one county in Mississippi. 

It is six fewer than the 83 additional cases reported on Monday from DeSoto County. 

There were 1,411 additional positive case reports in Mississippi on Tuesday, according to MSDH, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the Magnolia State to 154,411. 

The state health department reported 29 additional deaths in Tuesday’s information for Mississippi, but none of the deaths were in DeSoto County, where there have been 104 fatal victims from the virus.  

The test positivity rate for DeSoto County remained in the “red zone” as of Nov. 14 at 17.7 percent positive for the period between Oct. 29-Nov. 11. The figure is one of the reasons why the county was placed in a mask mandate by Gov. Tate Reeves last month, a mandate that is scheduled to expire on Dec. 11, unless the governor decides to extend it further.  

Gov. Reeves announced on Tuesday the addition of 13 new counties to be added to the mask mandates, bringing the total of affected counties to 54. The latest counties added to the mandate were: Quitman, Jefferson, Franklin, Noxubee, Kemper, Amite, Coahoma, Sunflower, Scott, Adams, Oktibbeha, Monroe and Washington counties.

Another indicator to adding DeSoto County to the mask mandate was the number of cases in the county over a two-week period. The latest listing, from Nov. 9-22, had DeSoto County with 1,176 cases, the most of any Mississippi county. That resulted in 635.9 cases per 100,000 population.

Hinds County closely followed DeSoto County with 968 cases during the two-week period, or 417.5 per 100,000 population.  

In total, Hinds is second to DeSoto in the number of cases with 10,279, but Hinds had 202 deaths recorded from the virus to DeSoto County’s 104 victims.  

There have been several concerns expressed about the number of hospitalizations and the fewer number of beds available in Mississippi to handle patients with coronavirus.  

On Tuesday, there 1,057 confirmed COVID-19 infections being treated in Mississippi hospitals and another 101 suspected of having coronavirus in hospitals. MSDH reported 250 patients in an ICU unit and a total of 142 patients were on ventilators. 

As of Tuesday, Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven had no available staffed beds and no available ICU beds at its facility. There were 57 patients with confirmed coronavirus cases in the Southaven hospital and six patients in the ICU unit with coronavirus.  

At Methodist Olive Branch Hospital, there were three available beds at that facility and 22 patients with confirmed coronavirus infections. The Olive Branch hospital has one available ICU bed available as of Tuesday’s report and five adult COVID-19 cases in the ICU.   

Hospital officials have cautioned in the past, however, that the numbers are ever-changing during each day and the report should not be taken as saying that patients cannot be taken into the facility.

The latest information is available on the Mississippi State Department of Health website at: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420.html

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