Mississippi COVID hospitalizations becoming fewer

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Hospitalizations for active COVID-19 infections in Mississippi are at one of the lowest points for the month of February and since April 2020.

On Monday, 512 people were in hospital beds statewide with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. While the previous two days saw 501 and 510 totals, the month began with 871 patients. That number has steadily dropped almost daily, rising by no more than nine cases from the previous day on the instances it did rise.

The patterns have been the same with patients in intensive care units with confirmed COVID cases, dropping from 242 on Feb. 2 to 153 on Feb. 22. The month began with 148 patients on ventilators and only 93 were on vents as of Monday.

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The only data that has not steadily dropped over the same three-week period has been in patients with suspected infections — 59 cases were reported for Feb. 2 and 59 again on Feb. 22, though the number has ranged from as high as 64 (Feb. 3) down as low as 27 (Feb. 14).

Since April 2020, the highest numbers of confirmed infections, ICU beds filled and ventilator usage have occurred in January 2021. Hospitals statewide reported 294 patients with confirmed cases of the virus in early April. The number rose to 989 in July before dropping to 427 in October, and spiking at 1,444 in January.

ICU beds were occupied by 171 virus patients in April 2020. That number hit 329 in July before tapering down and spiking again at 360 in January 2021.

Ninety-five patients were on vents in April 2020. The number hit 198 in July 2020 before dropping to 56 in October and rising again to 230 — its highest peak — in the first month of 2021.

Hospitalizations for those with suspected infections have dropped steadily since a high of 274 in July 2020, up from 259 in April 2020.

As of Feb. 22, hospitals in Mississippi had 6,277 total staffed beds — 512 were occupied by confirmed COVID patients (8%), and another 64.5% were occupied by non-COVID patients, leaving 1,713 available beds.

Hospitals had 876 total ICU beds — 149 (17%) were occupied by COVID-positive patients and another 624 (71%) were filled by non-COVID patients, leaving 103 intensive care beds available.

The state reported 669 new cases of the virus Wednesday and 28 additional deaths from Feb. 13-22, including one each in Lincoln and Lawrence counties. There have been 291,891 cases of the virus and 6,605 total deaths in the state to-date.