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Mississippi hospitals return to COVID-19 health plan as hospitalizations heighten

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 8:11 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WMC) - The increase in COVID-19 activity and hospitalizations have Mississippi officials returning back to their COVID-19 health plan. A move last made in the height of the pandemic.

This statewide order is a result of what Mississippi hospitals are seeing with COVID-19 right now.

They have limited ICU availability with the state’s only Level 1 trauma center being forced to not use 55 beds because they don’t have the staff to manage.

The issue trickles down and impacts folks in rural areas who already have difficulty accessing care.

Health leaders hope the COVID System of Care Plan helps alleviate the strain.

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The move is now mandatory for all licensed hospitals in Mississippi. This means hospitals will only allow the most critically ill patients to be transferred for care while not overburdening hospitals.

The order includes the following:

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Immediate neurosurgical intervention (such as a severe car accident)
  • Transplant patients with complications and Ventilated patients at a hospital without an ICU, respiratory therapy or a ventilator).

University of Mississippi Medical Center says health leaders will continue to monitor the situation.

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“It is a day to day, hour to hour process where we’re evaluating if we can do certain types of surgeries, how many we can do, what types of transfers, we can accept, you know what, how many patients we have coming through the ER, and we’re, we’re doing the best we can to spread those resources around to as many different options that are asking for our resources as we can,” said Alan Jones UMMC Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs.

Mississippi MED-COM will direct patients to available beds. In the event no beds are available, they’ll direct patients to hospital destinations on a rotating basis based on geography and resource availability.

The order is currently scheduled to continue until Sunday, Jan. 23.

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