Mississippi hospitals overwhelmed as new year approaches

South Central Regional Medical Center is restricting patient visitation.
South Central Regional Medical Center is restricting patient visitation.(Source: WDAM)
Updated: Dec. 29, 2020 at 8:19 PM CST
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - As the holiday season continues and coronavirus cases rise across Mississippi, the tipping point of a hospital overflow is here.

Hospitals across the state of Mississippi are reaching their absolute limits.

“Your hospitals around the state are right now being overwhelmed with people who need help,” said Dr. W. Mark Horne, chief medical officer at South Central Regional Medical Center and president of the Mississippi State Medical Association. “And You hold the key.”

SCRMC is seeing an overwhelming amount of COVID-19 patients.

“Here in Laurel, essentially a third of our in-patients are COVID,” Horne said. “I’ve been in practice since 1992 here in Laurel. There’s never in those 28 years been a single time that we had one disease take up a third of our hospital, and essentially our entire intensive care unit is COVID.”

Health care officials are counting on you to stop the spread.

“You hold the key by doing some simple things,” Horne said. “Wearing a mask if you’re in public, not going to the basketball game, not going to the special event where people gather together in large numbers.”

Horne notes 2020 has reached a grim milestone compared to years past.

“When you compare 2020, from January to Dec. 5, and compare that to the previous 3 years, the average number of deaths in the same time frame in 2017, 2018 and 2019, there is a 20% of death among Mississippians,” Horne said.

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