Mississippi health care system on verge of collapse as state sets new record for COVID patients in hospital

Published 2:21 pm Thursday, August 12, 2021

More Mississippians were hospitalized Wednesday with the COVID-19 coronavirus than ever before, the state reported.

Mississippi State Department of Health statistics updated Thursday show 1,490 confirmed COVID patients filled the state’s hospital beds.

That number broke the previous record of 1,444 set on January 4, before vaccines were widely available.

“The thing that hospitals have feared most is total failure of the hospital system,” said Dr. Alan Jones, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs. “If we continue this trajectory for the next five to seven days, we will see failure of the system. We’re in a pretty serious situation when you see federal teams come in. It should open people’s eyes.”

Mississippi has seen enormous increases in the number of new COVID-19 patients since early July when the more contagious delta variant began rapidly spreading.

On Wednesday, state records indicate 388 patients were in ICU beds across the state with 264 of those on mechanical ventilation.

Mississippi’s hospital system is so taxed with COVID-19 patients a temporary 50-bed field hospital is being setup in the parking garage of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and will be staffed by a federal emergency team.