Dozens of healthcare workers are coming to the aid of hospitals in DeSoto County.
Nurses and respiratory therapists are now working at Baptist Memorial Hospital – DeSoto and Methodist Olive Branch Hospital. The workers are some of the more than 1,100 health care personnel requested by hospitals across the state. So far the state has filled 74% of the requests for personnel.
“The situation was becoming dire in our hospitals,” said DeSoto County Supervisors Board President Mark Gardner. “We want to thank the Governor and the Mississippi State Department of Health for answering our call for help.” The need for COVID testing had also reached a critical level. “Before we asked for state testing, it was taking people two or three days to get a testing appointment,” said Supervisor Lee Caldwell.
On August 16, supervisors unanimously approved sending a request to open a state-run COVID-19 testing location and a field hospital in DeSoto County. The state decided to deploy healthcare workers to DeSoto County instead of a field hospital.
“We are hopeful the extra healthcare workers will reduce the strain on our hospitals,” said Supervisor Ray Denison. “Emergency rooms are so busy, we’ve had ambulances waiting for hours to transfer patients with and without COVID,” said Supervisor Jessie Medlin.
The state quickly fulfilled the county’s request for a COVID-19 testing site. It opened Monday, August 23 outside the county health department in Hernando. The testing site started with 200 tests a day. By Wednesday, the number jumped to 300 tests due to demand.
“The health and welfare of everyone in DeSoto County is our number one concern,” said Supervisor Michael Lee. “We want to make sure they have all the services and resources they need, when they need it.”
People can find more information about COVID-19 testing and resources on the MSDH website HealthyMS.com.