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Mississippi reports seventh COVID-19 pediatric death as lack of ICU beds continues

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:33 PM CDT
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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Mississippi health officials say the state remains in the thick of the Delta surge.

This comes as the state reports another child has died from COVID-19 and there continues to be a lack of ICU beds.

Wednesday, Mississippi reported over 1,900 new cases and 102 new deaths. Ten of those deaths are in DeSoto County.

The latest numbers show the positivity rate is 20.9 percent in DeSoto County.

“DeSoto County does not have one of the highest rates right now, but over the past couple of weeks it’s had a higher number of cases,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

Cases are highest among the unvaccinated.

State officials say despite almost half of the state having received at least one dose of the vaccine, there aren’t nearly enough people immune.

“We are reporting an additional pediatric death. This is a child less than a year of age,” Byers said.

Mississippi has now lost seven children to the coronavirus. The state is also seeing a significant number of pregnant women not survive COVID.

“Currently, we’re investigating eight reports of pregnant women who have died within the past several weeks, all of whom are unvaccinated,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said.

ICU bed availability continues to be very scarce. As of Wednesday morning, critical care hospitals reported 10 ICU beds available with 202 emergency room holds.

“The bed capacity for ICU space is effectively zero still in the state of Mississippi. We have additional ICU capacity in some hospitals in the state. It could be used, but the problem remains of insufficient staffing,” said Jim Craig, senior deputy and director of health protection.

The state has requested 1,167 staff and says more than 75 percent of that staff has been deployed to hospitals.

State officials say there are four cases of the new Mu variant in the state, but say almost 100 percent of the cases are Delta.

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