The Mississippi Department of Health reported 1,092 new coronavirus cases and 16 deaths on Wednesday.
This brings the state to a total of 145,636 coronavirus cases and 3,745 deaths.
Mississippi has seen a spike in cases since Gov. The Reeves lifted the statewide mask mandate at the end of Sept. Mississippi's state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, visited DeSoto County on Oct. 8 and expressed concern that the state would return to peak levels of virus transmission. He also raised alarm over a decline in Mississippians following public health guidelines seen since the mask mandate was lifted.
Desoto County has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state, with 9,731 confirmed. For most of the pandemic, DeSoto County only trailed behind Hinds County, the state's most populous county, in its caseload. Hinds now ranks second with 9,608 cases. Harrison County on the Mississippi Gulf Coast ranks third with 6,898 cases. Jackson County ranks fourth with 6,178 confirmed cases.
DeSoto County has no more available ICU beds in its hospitals, according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
“Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare remains in a stable state across our entire system. We closely monitor capacity at each of our hospitals,” A Methodist Le Bonheur spokesperson said in a statement. “The data shown on the state website is a single snapshot in time. It’s important to note that the number of total operational beds consistently fluctuates based on staffing and availability. As a large healthcare system, we have the ability to transfer patients from one hospital to another, if needed.”
Dobbs said hospitals in the county were out of critical care beds at a press conference yesterday, where he and Gov. Tate Reeves emphasized the immediate danger the virus posed to the state and asked Mississippians to reconsider their Thanksgiving plans.
As of Nov. 24, there are two active outbreaks among DeSoto County long-term care facilities, with 103 total cases between them. The state department of health defines an outbreak at a long-term care facility as one or more cases among residents or two or more cases among staff within 14 days.
Across the state, there are a total of 158 outbreaks at long-term care facilities. 7,521 Mississippians in LTC facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1,424 have died.
The DeSoto Times-Tribune offers daily COVID-19 updates as new data from the state becomes available. Check back tomorrow for updated information.