JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves held a news conference on Tuesday, August 24, to discuss the state’s COVID-19 response. According to the governor, about 1,000 healthcare workers from across the country are being dispatched to Mississippi hospitals to help with understaffing. He said the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is currently contracting with four vendors to provide medical personnel to 61 hospitals statewide.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is coordinating with applicable licensing boards to vet the licenses of all healthcare workers who are contracted. The state is currently contracting with the following vendors: H&S, Snapnurse, GQR and Maxim.
“We are doing whatever it takes to get boots on the ground in our hospitals. Today, we are deploying over 1,000 healthcare personnel within 9 business days of the initial request. Our top priority is to ensure that every Mississippian who can get better with quality care receives that care. We are grateful for those that are answering the call to alleviate the pressure on our healthcare workers. To the current healthcare staff in the state, we thank you for your continued dedication to our fellow Mississippians,” said Reeves.
Starting August 24, 808 nurses, three certified registered nurse anesthetists, 22 nurse practitioners, 193 respiratory therapists and 20 paramedics will deploy to 50 hospitals.
“Medical staffing provided by the state is for the COVID-19 mission to address the surge of patients due to the Delta Variant. Our staff has worked tirelessly to give our hospitals the relief they need and deserve. We are working with FEMA to secure reimbursement for these contracts worth roughly $10 million a week statewide for eight and a half weeks. MEMA stands ready to coordinate any additional resources needed,” said MEMA Executive Director Stephen McCraney.
MEMA is requesting an expedited federal reimbursement from FEMA to cover the costs of medical staffing contracts.
Current hospitals with deployment orders for medical personnel as of August 24, 2021:
|UMMC||George Co Hosp – Lucedale||Jefferson Davis Community – Prentiss|
|St. Dominic||Delta Health Med – Greenville||Pearl River Co – Poplarville|
|North MS Medical Center||Merit Health Rankin||Merit Health River Oaks – Flowood|
|Merit Health Central||North MS Med – West Point||Merit Health Biloxi|
|Forrest General Hospital||Merit Health Madison||Southwest MS Regional Med – McComb|
|Rush Foundation Hospital||Baptist Mem – Golden Triangle||Methodist Olive Branch|
|Singing River – Pascagoula||Anderson Regional – Meridian||Delta Health NW Regional – Clarksdale|
|Merit Health Wesley||Oktibbeha Co Hosp – Starkville||UMMC Grenada|
|Singing River – Ocean Springs||North MS Med Gilmore – Amory||Baptist Memorial Booneville|
|MS Baptist Med Center – JXN #10||Magnolia Regional Health-Corinth||Merit Health Natchez|
|Memorial Hospital – Gulfport||Tippah Co Hospital||Ochsner Medical Center Hancock – Bay St. Louis|
|Greenwood Leflore||Magee General – Magee||Panola Medical Center – Batesville|
|Singing River Gulfport||Webster Health Services – Eupora||Sharkey Issaquena Comm Hospital – Rolling Fork|
|Merit Health River Region||Jefferson Co Hospital – Fayette||Claiborne Co Medical Center – Port Gibson|
|Baptist Memorial – Desoto||South Sunflower – Indianola||HC Watkins Memorial – Quitman|
|Baptist Memorial – North MS||Baptist Memorial – Calhoun||Copiah Co Medical Center – Hazlehurst|
|King’s Daughter||Baptist Memorial – Yazoo||UMMC Holmes County – Lexington|
|South Central – Laurel||Perry County General – Richton||Lackey Memorial Hospital – Forest|
|Baptist Memorial – New Albany||Marion General – Columbia||Field Health System – Centreville|
|Walthall General Hospital – Tylertown||KPC Promise Hospital of Vicksburg||Alliance Healthcare – Holly Springs|
|Highland Community Hospital|
On Monday, officials announced 40 military medical support personnel will be deployed to two hospitals in Mississippi. The military personnel, including nurses, respiratory therapists and medical doctors, will support the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson and the North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo in Tupelo.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said the number of cases and hospitalizations appeared to be leveling off.
On Tuesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported 3,291 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state, along with 111 additional deaths on Tuesday. Byers said the additional deaths were the “highest total of deaths to date” in the pandemic.
During the news conference, Reeves said he has not visited any hospitals at this time, but he’s talked to hospital administrations.
At this time, the governor does not anticipate any lockdowns or mask mandates.