Mississippi’s COVID-19 coronavirus surge doubles hospitalizations in single week

Published 4:19 pm Monday, January 3, 2022

Mississippi hospitalizations for the COVID-19 coronavirus have more than doubled in the last week, statistics from the Mississippi State Department of Health indicate, but currently remain at approximately half the peak of last summer.

On Sunday, 695 people were hospitalized in Mississippi with test-confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus, with another 67 patients listed as being suspected of having COVID-19 based on their symptoms, but not yet confirmed by a test.

That figure is more than double the number hospitalized one week ago when on Dec. 26, 326 patients were in state hospital beds. Sunday’s number is more than tripled the figure from one month ago.

Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) officials reported Monday that 17,525 new coronavirus cases were found since Thursday’s last official report. The state did not report on Friday due to the New Year’s Eve holiday. National experts say the numbers of cases are likely much higher as the at-home tests for COVID are generally not reported to the state.

The high number of cases reported Monday brought the 7-day average of new cases to 4,100 cases per day, an increase of more than 900 percent from just 30 days prior in early December.

State and national health officials have said that while early reports that cases of the omicron variant –- now the most dominant in the state — seem less severe than earlier variants, a large spike in overall cases could bring a return to the run on the hospitals that was seen this summer in the delta surge.

At that time hospital beds in Mississippi became so scarce that federal resources were sought to help staff a temporary tent hospital set up in the parking garage of Mississippi’s largest hospital, the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

At its peak, Mississippi reported 1,667 COVID patients hospitalized on August 19, 2021.