Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 coronavirus still on rise, Mississippi health officials say

Published 5:47 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The number of Mississippians hospitalized with the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to climb higher, state health officials report.

State health officials reported that on Tuesday, 1,267 patients in Mississippi hospital had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, though it was unclear how many of those COVID-positive patients were hospitalized due to symptoms from the virus or were simply found to have the virus as they sought treatment for other ailments.

“It’s just stunning,” Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, told members of the media Tuesday at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “We’re back to the party that no one wanted to come to.”

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Through Tuesday, 241 patients were in ICU rooms and 100 required mechanical ventilation. Another 98 patients were suspected of having COVID-19 but had not been confirmed positive for the virus through a test.

“We’re dealing with a shifting enemy, and it’s changed the rules of the game,” said Dr. Alan Jones, vice chancellor for clinical affairs and the Medical Center’s clinical COVID-19 response leader. “The sheer volume of patients is what’s overwhelming.”

While the trajectory of hospitalizations is steep, the total patients hospitalized is still lower than the record highs seen last summer.

In August 2021, more than 1,600 COVID-19 patients were being treated in state hospitals. But hospitals also have reduced capacity to handle the patients due to staff shortages and illness among staff members.