Mississippi COVID hospitalizations have nearly doubled this month; 10K recent cases could result in hundreds more hospitalizations, trends suggest

Published 9:09 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The number of Mississippians hospitalized with complications from the COVID-19 coronavirus has nearly doubled since the beginning of December, state statistics released Tuesday show.

Through Monday, the Mississippi State Department of Health records showed a total of 400 patients were hospitalized in the state with complications from the coronavirus.

That compares to the 201 patients in hospital beds on December 1.

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In the past state health officials have warned that traditionally high numbers of cases statistically result in higher numbers of hospitalizations usually a week or two after the patients first become ill, therefore it’s unlikely that many of the more than 10,000 new cases found in the last seven days have needed hospital care so far.

But some of those patients may be headed to a hospital bed soon if the past trend stays.

Back in August, Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs gave a rundown on statistics of COVID patients in Mississippi.

Dobbs said that for every 100 cases, approximately 7 or 8 will end up in the hospital. So if the trends noted from the summer were to remain true now, the 10,000 new cases found in the last seven days could wind up putting 700 to 800 people in state hospitals.

Of the hospitalized coronavirus patients Monday, 105 were in ICU beds and 52 required mechanical ventilation. That’s compared to 56 ICU patients on December 1 and 31 on ventilators.

Although across the state, health department stats showed late Tuesday approximately 84 available ICU beds, that number had dropped from more than 100 the day prior.

And some areas of the state are extremely limited on ICU capacity.

The state’s largest hospital, the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, showed no ICU beds available, as did Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson. UMMC, in fact, showed a negative number of ICU beds available meaning patients needing ICU care were being held in other parts of the hospital until an ICU bed could become available or found in another facility.

Combined, the other major hospitals in the Jackson area only showed a total of eight ICU beds available through Sunday.