DeSoto County asks Mississippi to open testing facility, field hospital to cope with COVID cases

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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — DeSoto County leaders say they are asking the state to open a state-run field hospital and COVID-19 testing facility there as the county strains to keep up with rising cases.

Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution sending the request for testing facilities and a field hospital to the Mississippi State Department of Health, according to a statement from the county.

Officials said there are no ICU beds available at either of the county’s hospitals, Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto and Methodist Olive Branch Hospital. There were 82 patients just in Baptist-DeSoto on Monday.

Pharmacies, clinics and doctors are unable to keep up with demand for tests and are having to turn people away, county officials said.

“Right now, if you are sick and need to get tested, it might be two or three days for an appointment. There are just not enough,” EMS Director Mark Davis told supervisors.

Tuesday evening, DeSoto officials said the Mississippi State Department of Health had approved their request for a testing facility in the county. The testing would be done five days a week, but no start date was set.

There was still no word on approval for a field hospital. The state has set up two field hospitals in Jackson.

“The health and welfare of everyone in DeSoto County is our greatest concern,” Mark Gardner, Board President and District Two supervisor, said in a statement. “We want to make sure they have all the services and resources they need, when they need it, which is why we are requesting help from the state.”

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