State deploys over 1000 healthcare workers as COVID numbers seem to stabilize

Published 4:17 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Governor Tate Reeves announced that over 1,000 healthcare workers and practitioners will be deployed to hospitals in the state.

“Having these staffing needs met will help alleviate the portion of the strain on our healthcare system and insure that all Mississippians that need care will receive the quality care they deserve,” said Reeves.

Reeves, in a press conference on Tuesday morning, stated 808 nurses, 3 certified registered nurse anesthetists, 22 nurse practitioners, 193 respiratory therapists and 20 paramedics have been deployed the same morning to 50 hospitals across Mississippi to relieve the staffing shortages.

“This is an impressive feat,” said Reeves, who went on to thank the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi State Department of Health for enacting this plan quickly. “We anticipate that all staffing requests for the 61 hospitals that made them should be met no later than the end of this week.”

Level 1 and Level 2 trauma hospital requests have been filled and Level 3 hospital requests are currently being processed and fulfilled.

In addition, a 23-person active duty team arrived in Jackson as part of the Department of Defense COVID-19 Response Operation. In that team, 20 are active duty Air Force medical personnel and three are a part of command and control.

Another 23-person team of active duty army personnel will provide assistance in Tupelo. As in Jackson, 20 are medical personnel and three are in a part of command and control.

In the MSDH’s latest data report, there are 3,291 new cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 111 deaths, and 184 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities as of August 23. The state’s totals rack up to 416,789 cases, 8,158 deaths

According to MSDH State Epidemiologist Paul Byers, M.D., this is the highest total of deaths so far in the pandemic with the previous high was recorded back in January. 

Although Byers is hesitant to call it a trend, the number of cases and hospitalizations are seeming to plateau, but we must anticipate significant increase in deaths are surge in cases.

Lafayette County has 47 more cases of COVID-19. There have been no new deaths or LTC facility cases. The county has an overall total of 7290 cases, 129 deaths and 190 LTC outbreaks.

As of Tuesday morning, the city of Oxford released numbers showing Baptist Memorial Hospital of North Mississippi has 46 confirmed COVID-19 patients and 13 COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit.

As of today, the MSDH reports 1,120,579 fully vaccinated individuals in Mississippi and 81,510 people were given shots the week of August 21, the highest number of doses since mid-April, according to Reeves. The city of Oxford is furthering the mission by hosting free pop-up vaccination sites in partnership with local clinics.

Webb Family Medical Clinic will oversee another vaccination site at Larson’s CashSaver on Friday, August 27 from 12 to 5 p.m. and administer Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots to all eligible individuals. This will be the second vaccination site held at CashSaver this month.

The pop-up vaccination site held on Friday, August 20 at CashSaver gave out 21 shots and with the addition of shots given by Webb Family Medical at RSVP vaccination site on August 17, a total of 65 individuals were vaccinated.

“LET’S DO THIS AGAIN,” tweeted Brent Larson, Lafayette County District 1 supervisor and owner of Larson’s CashSaver. “Everyone please come out and get your Vaccination. Help the City of Oxford, and Lafayette County fight Covid 19.”

Lastly, North Mississippi Primary Health Care (NMPHC) will be offering free vaccinations from their mobile unit on Monday, August 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the front parking lot of Oxford High School at 101 Charger Loop.

This service is open to the public and walk-ins are welcome.

NMPHC will provide the Pfizer vaccine that requires two doses. The second dose will be administered on September 20th.

Minors cannot receive vaccines without parental consent and are required to provide a signed authorization form provided by NMPHC. Photo identification is required. No appointment is necessary.