Number of Mississippi ICU beds filled with COVID-19 patients near record high: ‘The worst is yet to come,’ doctor warns

Published 2:08 pm Sunday, August 8, 2021

Mississippi’s number of severely ill COVID-19 coronavirus patients is fast approaching a new record, the state’s top public health doctor said Sunday.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs released information Sunday showing that 346 Mississippians were in ICU rooms, approximately 10 times the number of several weeks ago. The ICU utilization is nearing the all-time record high of 360 patients recorded in January at the height of the last wave.

“We are rapidly depleting valuable hospital resources,” Dobbs wrote on Twitter. “The worst is yet to come. Please – get vaccinated

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Dobbs’ prediction that the hospital situation is likely to worsen likely stems from the recent high number of new cases found in Mississippi — approximately 25,000 in the last two weeks. High numbers of new patients generally have led to a rapid rise in hospitalizations in the weeks following the cases emerging.

Dobbs said 194 COVID-19 patients in Mississippi on Saturday required mechanical ventilation. The high mark for ventilator use was in January when 229 people were on ventilators.

Dobbs continues to urge Mississippians who are unvaccinated to talk to their doctors and get vaccinated, because lately nearly all of the new cases the Mississippi State Department of Health is seeing ar in unvaccinated people.

“In MS – 97% of all new cases are in the unvaccinated,” he wrote Sunday. “There is a spill over effect on hospitalizations and deaths for a minority of the vaccinated who are primarily older or have weakened immune systems.”