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Coronavirus numbers go up as New Year closes in

Coronavirus numbers continue to rise as three new deaths are added to Lincoln County’s toll.

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Department of Health released its newest COVID-19 statistics. There were 2,481 total cases in Lincoln County and 77 total deaths. In the area, there were 166 long-term care facility cases and 36 LTC deaths.

Tuesday’s numbers included 1,943 new cases and 85 new deaths. There were 244 current LTC outbreaks. Three of the deaths occurred in Lincoln County.

Hospitalizations continue to surge, with 1,340 patients being treated in hospitals across the state. Out of that total, 325 patients are in intensive care and 201 patients are on ventilators.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 210,032 total cases in Mississippi, along with 4,719 COVID-19 related deaths.

Locally, the rate of cases has not slowed down. At King’s Daughters Medical Center, their staff has been overwhelmed.

Hospital CEO Alvin Hoover said the hospital has been participating in a statewide critical care system that allows hospitals in Mississippi to send patients wherever rooms are available, even if it’s across the state.

“We have taken patients from Magee, Choctaw, Union and Louisville,” Hoover said, naming a few places.

The coronavirus is still keeping the hospital flush with patients.

“We’re really busy, our COVID volume has been up over the last three weeks or so,” Hoover said. “We’ve typically been holding three to five ICU beds in the ER because our eight bed unit upstairs is full.”

Hoover said the ICU at KDMC has been treating 11-12 patients.

“I expect that it’s going to get worse before it’s going to get better,” Hoover said. “It’s grown and we’ve not seen anything that hasn’t made me think otherwise. At one point we had twelve patients on ventilators and for one nurse that’s a lot of work. Patients on ventilators take a lot of effort.”