JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi State Department of Health has announced a statewide order on Tuesday requiring all licensed hospitals to participate in Mississippi COVID System of Care Plan.

The health department is issuing the Limited System of Care Plan that gives critical patients a way to be given care without overwhelming hospitals, according to the press release.

This plan comes due to the limited ICU availability, recent COVID surge and sick patients in rural areas being unable to access care.

Mississippi MED-COM will direct patients to hospitals based on location and resource availability.

According to the press release, the Care Plan includes situations such as heart attacks, strokes, immediate neurosurgical intervention, transplant patients with complications, and ventilated patients without an ICU.

The order will remain in effect until Jan. 23, 2022.