COVID Delta variant surging in state

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The delta variant of COVID-19 is making a “big resurgence” in Mississippi, King’s Daughters Medical Center CEO Alvin Hoover told county supervisors this week.

“I spoke with (state health officer) Dr. Thomas Dobbs and he told me there are actually three variants of the delta variant now that are specific to Mississippi.”

“Three weeks ago we had no COVID patients,” said Hoover. “We were giving two or three monoclonal antibody shots per week. One week ago, we were seeing up to 84 emergency room patients per day — most of whom were there for COVID symptoms — and giving close to 100 MA treatments per week.”

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District 1 Supervisor Jerry Wilson asked Hoover why there was no new mask mandate from the governor?

“I can’t answer for the governor,” Hoover said, “but Dr. Dobbs has been on top of it. Wash your hands; social distance; wear a mask. The virus was just about gone and we all wanted to see it gone.”

Hoover said masks have been shown to have some impact on whether a person gets the virus, as well as getting a vaccine. It has never been said that a vaccinated person could not get COVID-19 or get it again, but it can prevent some strains and will make recovery easier if someone does get the virus, Hoover said.

“We have 13 patients now, three of whom were vaccinated. They are on the medical floor,” Hoover said. “The three in the ICU on ventilators were unvaccinated.”

Intensive care units across the state are full and nurses are hard to find, the chief executive officer said. KDMC and other hospitals are struggling with staffing issues, and at least one hospital in the state is short 250 positions, he said.

Mississippi has now passed the 350,000 mark in total number of positive COVID-19 cases.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,574 new cases as of 3 p.m. Monday, bringing the state total to 350,070.

Thirty-four deaths were also reported as of 3 p.m. Monday — 21 from July 29 through Aug. 2 across 13 counties, and 13 between Feb. 13 and July 27 across 11 counties, identified from death certificate reports. MSDH has now recorded 7,590 total deaths for the state.

Lincoln County has reported 4,228 cases and 116 deaths.

“I would just urge you to be careful. Wear a mask in crowds and indoors, especially in a crowded room. Wash your hands a lot,” Hoover said. “These are the basic things that work.”