DeSoto County COVID cases rise 151% as Mississippi cases surge toward new peak


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The COVID situation is worse than ever in Mississippi.

In DeSoto County the number of new cases has risen 151% in two weeks. Methodist Health in Olive Branch has no ICU beds available and is currently caring for 24 COVID patients.

Mississippi is reporting more new cases now than during the height of the pandemic. Over the weekend, it emerged as the second most infectious state in the U.S. behind Louisiana.

Monday, the Mississippi Department of Health reported 7,839 new cases of COVID-19 and 52 deaths.

The South Panola school district announced Sunday that it’s moving from in-school learning to remote learning because so many kids have tested positive.

More than 1,500 COVID patients are hospitalized in Mississippi, nearly double the number from two weeks ago.

Gov Tate Reeves says people who haven’t been vaccinated need to do so quickly.

“This current wave seems more and more to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Reeves said. “We are headed towards a new peak and there are a number of challenges that lie ahead. However, we must continue to focus and we must continue to remain calm. … The sooner individuals take the opportunity to get vaccinated the more individuals that can be vaccinated the sooner we can move beyond this peak.”

Mississippi opened a field hospital in Jackson to help care for COVID patients. Part of it is to take care of the seriously ill, but there’s also an outpatient area where people who’ve tested positive but are not yet sick can be treated with monoclonal antibodies.

Gov. Tate Reeves says people who haven’t been vaccinated need to do so quickly.

“The sooner individuals take the opportunity to get vaccinated, the more individuals can get vaccinated, the sooner we can move beyond this peak,” Reeves said.

Last week, Reeves said he’s extending his state-of-emergency order for another 30 days to give public health officials and other government leaders some flexibility in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and was asked about the surge in Mississippi.

“I want to start with the dire situation in the South, particularly in Mississippi, where cases have risen by more than 2,000% in the past month. Medical officials there say the state’s largest hospital system could fail within days. What is the federal government doing to help states like Mississippi and Louisiana?” moderator Nancy Cordes asked Fauci.

Fauci responded: “We’re sending surge teams to help with actual implementation of the immediate response and that’s FEMA, that’s CDC people, but as you know Nancy, as we’ve discussed many many times all of this is entirely predictable and on the other entirely preventable. We’ve got to get people vaccinated.”

Shelby County is now up to 1,760, with 41 of those deaths just in the past two weeks. The Shelby County Health Department says an average of 618 new cases are confirmed every day.

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