Faced with this situation, the University of Mississippi Medical Center on August 13 had to set up a field hospital in the garage. The center also plans to open a mobile hospital early next week, with a medical team sent by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Many hospitals in the US face overcrowding.
On August 12, 1,578 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized in Mississippi hospitals. This is the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic. According to data from HHS, more than 90% of the intensive care beds at these hospitals are full. The state has seen a 142% increase in hospitalizations over the past two weeks, according to a Reuters analysis.
At a press conference on August 13, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said that unvaccinated people account for the majority of new cases and hospitalizations.
Mr. Tate Reeves said: “Of the total number of new Covid-19 cases recorded in Mississippi, about 97% were unvaccinated people. About 89% of hospitalizations were unvaccinated people.” .
Like many other Republicans, Mr. Reeves has pledged not to force people to wear masks, even though this is an effective measure against the spread of the virus.
Some cases and deaths occur in healthy people in their 20s and 30s, said Dr. Thomas Dobbs, state health official.
“We’ve lost four healthy people in their 20s, two of whom are pregnant, unvaccinated. There are 10 people in their 30s with no underlying disease who have died,” said Thomas Dobbs.
The number of Covid-19 hospitalizations is increasing rapidly across the US.
Low vaccination rates and a more contagious Delta variant have led to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases across the US, overloading health systems in some states.
Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon have reported record hospital admissions this month, and intensive care units are working at near full capacity, according to a Reuters tally. At the same time, states must also apply for medical assistance from the federal government.
However, Republican governors in southern states like Florida and Texas have banned the mandatory wearing of masks and threatened not to fund schools that impose the order. The federal government is considering refunding money to school leaders whose pay was cut because of the mandatory mask wearing policy.