Mississippi officials confirmed on Aug. 9 that there are no more intensive care unit beds available due to the increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.

Mississippi Hospitals Overwhelmed by Surge in Cases

State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said in a tweet that there are more than 200 people in the state waiting for hospital beds, but the emergency rooms are full, according to The Washington Post.

Dobbs added that they are expecting 500 new hospitalizations in the next couple of days. The problem is, there are no ICU beds left.

Coronavirus patients are not the only ones who are suffering because of the delay. Those rushed to the hospital due to a heart attack or stroke do not get the level of care that they need right away.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported that from Aug. 6 to Aug.8, there were almost 7,000 new COVID-19 cases. That is 2,300 cases reported every day.

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Due to the sudden increase in cases, the University of Mississippi Medical Center or UMMC cleared out the bottom floor of its parking garage and created a COVID-19 ward to accommodate those who are infected, according to 4WWL.

The Mississippi hospital also had to clean the garage often to prevent the spread of the virus as it does not have the proper equipment to isolate the patients.

UMMC is currently asking the federal government to help them look for more medical professionals to work in the field hospital because they do not have enough staff to look after the COVID-19 patients. Their current staff is already pushed to their limits.

The hospital is also running out of Remdesivir for COVID-19 patients, and they may be forced to purchase the drug at a higher price.

The Spread of the Delta Variant

The delta variant has spread throughout Mississippi, and it is responsible for the increase in COVID-19 infections. The people who are affected are mostly the unvaccinated ones, according to NewsWeek.

State health officials warned the public that if the mask-wearing and social distancing rules do not resume and the vaccination rates do not increase, the spread of the delta variant will not slow down.

According to the State data, out of the 97% new COVID-19 infections, 89% of hospitalizations and 82% of deaths are from those who are unvaccinated.

The most current health department statistics show that more than 1,200 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, and 321 of them are in the ICU, while 170 are on ventilators.

Last week, the University of Mississippi Medical Center physicians warned the public and the officials that the hospital was already at a breaking point.

The ICU is full, the emergency rooms are filled with COVID-19 patients, and they are down a significant number of health care workers, forcing them to close down an entire 15-bed unit.

Even before the delta variant was detected in the state, LouAnn Woodward, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs, stated that the medical center was already full. The center was treating patients who were put off care early on in the pandemic.

Due to the increase in cases, state health officials have urged the residents to get vaccinated to protect them against the severe illness caused by the virus. The vaccinated people who were infected did not require hospitalization, and they were able to recover on their own.

In the United States, Mississippi ranks as one of the least-vaccinated states as only 33% of the residents are fully vaccinated.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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