Surge in COVID-19 cases, lack of healthcare workers plagues Mississippi


DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — Mississippi hospitals are being pushed to capacity as COVID-19 cases surge across the state. The problem is plaguing Desoto County where, as of Tuesday, there were no ICU beds available at either of the county’s hospitals.

The issue is so dire that DeSoto County leaders are asking state officials for a field hospital to handle the overflow of patients. The Landers Center might serve as a possible location.

Officials with the Mississippi State Department of Health say they’re aware of the request but claim it’s a tall order because they don’t have enough healthcare workers to staff a field hospital. It’s a problem existing hospitals are already dealing with.

“Our real priority right now has to be to make sure we have staffing for those beds that are in brick and mortar hospitals that we’re just not able to staff right now,” Jim Craig with the state department of health said, “We need to keep as many people as possible within the hospital but we are exploring whether or not we can come up with some staffing to see about assisting in Desoto County with a field hospital.”

Officials say 73 hospitals across the state are requesting more than 1,000 additional workers to handle the surge in patients with more than 4,000 new cases reported Wednesday.

As of Wednesday morning, officials say 251 Mississippians were waiting for a bed in an emergency room as the dangerous Delta variant continues to spread.

“The Delta is a different animal,” Mississippi Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said.

That “animal” can largely be tamed by getting vaccinated, he said.

“Let’s be clear and I know it’s a hard reality. Most of these folks that we’re losing in these coming days could have made it if they’ve been vaccinated beforehand,” Dobbs said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Are you vaccinated for COVID-19?

No, but I plan to get the vaccine
No, and I do not plan to get the vaccine

Created with Survey Maker

For people who are fully vaccinated, are you ditching the mask?

Will still use it sometimes

Created with Survey maker

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News

Watch Latest Videos

TBI identifies suspect, continues investigating deadly officer-involved shooting in northeast Memphis

Customer desperate for response from Memphis roofing company contacts Problem Solvers

Group tasked with reimagining Memphis Police turns in final recommendations

'In America, it is always about freedom': Knox County mayor pens open letter to President Biden regarding vaccine mandate

"I wish I said bye to my dad," Oklahoma teen loses mother months after father, sister die from COVID-19

Gabby Petito's family talks to Ashleigh Banfield

More News