Mid-South hospitals see increase in COVID-19 patients amid variant surge

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:47 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:58 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The rise in Delta variant COVID-19 cases is leading to a concerning number of hospitalizations across the Mid-South.

Mississippi’s top doctor is warning that many ICU units at hospitals across the state are at full capacity.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs tweeted Sunday saying, “Heads up MS. ICU beds getting tight again. Be safe next few weeks and avoid Delta. 11 major ICUs with zero beds available.”

Now we checked some hospitals this morning and found that the ICU units in DeSoto County are full. DeSoto Baptist currently has three COVID-19 patients in the ICU.

And at Methodist Olive Branch, there are six ICU beds. Two patients are in the ICU with COVID-19 and zero ICU beds are available. A doctor with Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi explained how quickly these patients are becoming severely ill.

Baptist DeSoto
Baptist DeSoto(Mississippi State Department of Health)
Methodist Olive Branch
Methodist Olive Branch(Mississippi State Department of Health)

“This Delta variant initially you have a viral syndrome,” said Dobbs. “Around day eight or nine, several of these patients are rapidly developing respiratory failure. That means they look okay one day and by the next day they’re on the ventilator and rapidly getting worse.”

Mississippi is not alone in hospitals filling up with COVID-19 patients. In Arkansas, 681 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 --Just a couple of weeks ago, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said the state was seeing its largest increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19 cases since January.

Here in Shelby County, Methodist Hospital recently reopened its COVID-19 unit.

Doctors remind everyone that the best way to prevent being hospitalized for coronavirus is to get the shot.

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