Mississippi escapes Ida’s worst but still has to face COVID

Published 10:54 am Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Mississippi has escaped the worst of Ida, but state hospitals are dealing with a high number of COVID-19 patients and staff shortages.

Today, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,111 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 48 deaths, and 170 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The state total is 436,722 cases and 8,409 deaths. There are 1,162,099 persons fully vaccinated.

Lafayette County has 18 new cases and there have been no reports of deaths and LTC facility cases. The county totals are 7451 cases, 130 deaths and 55 LTC facilities outbreaks.

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These totals do not reflect the actual number of cases due to closed testing sites and clinics and reduced staff on Monday. 

​​MSDH vaccination and testing sites in central and south public health regions will remain closed Tuesday. Sites in north Mississippi will operate as usual.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, Ida downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression before it passed over Lafayette County. North Mississippi counties like Lafayette County have dodged extreme weather, but there have been reports of power outages along Highway 30.

Over 100,ooo Mississippians went without power on Monday, but as of Tuesday morning that number has been reduced to approximately 40,000. Despite power outages across the state, hospitals were barely disrupted due to generators. The real issue for the state is the coronavirus.

This remains the case for many hospitals. Over 1,000 healthcare workers were deployed to hospitals across the state, but some are still feeling the strain. Baptist Memorial Hospital North Mississippi is currently working on its “internal disaster,”  getting back to the status quo and helping patients to receive quality care.

Statewide, there are 1,533 patients with confirmed COVID-19, 37 patients with suspected COVID, 459 patients in the intensive care unit and 342 patients on ventilators.

Flood watch has been cancelled for the majority of north Mississippi counties. Flood watch is still in effect for easternmost Mississippi counties until 7 p.m. due to the potential for some locally heavy rainfall as it exits the region, according to the Memphis National Weather Service.

Conditions for the Mid-South will improve throughout the day.