Rural hospitals in Mississippi dealing with COVID-19 surge


HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Many counties in Mississippi are facing tough times as the coronavirus numbers continue to peak, especially in East and South Mississippi.

Hospital systems are overwhelmed with overflowing capacity with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases. Facilities in rural areas are seeing increases daily. According to the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), Neshoba County is among the lowest vaccinated county in the state.

Lee McCall, CEO, Neshoba General, said, “The last week and half, we’ve been averaging almost a 100 new cases a day and stress and strain it’s putting on us. We are seeing patients come in twice the amount that we would normally have in our urgent care and emergency department.”

ICU capacity is reaching its max capacity.

“The challenge that we face is most all of the higher-level facilities that we transfer patients to are maxed out in terms of ICU capacity. It’s at its lowest point.”

In Covington County, they are also facing some major challenges in rural areas.

Clancy Sanford, Covington County Hospital, said, “We need additional help. We need more nurses and more hands-on care. Finding those people making sure their well taken care of while also providing patients with the best care possible has been a real challenge.”

With the surge of COVID cases, Clancy said they are seeing close to 200 patients a day.

“The amount of patients we are coming in contact with on a daily basis is through the roof compared to what would be normal.”

Covington County Hospital is offering vaccination clinics on weekends.

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