The Mississippi well being official says the state will see many Covid deaths within the coming days
Medical staff from the Delta Health Center will be waiting on Jan.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Rising Covid-19 cases and hospital stays in Mississippi are driving mortality rates across the state, the state health officer said.
“We’re going to see a lot of deaths in the coming days, it’s just inevitable,” said Dr. Mississippi state health officer Thomas Dobbs on a briefing call on Wednesday.
Covid cases have risen in Mississippi last month, up almost ten-fold from a seven-day average of 267 new cases a day a month ago to 2,640 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The death toll, while still relatively low, has risen from a seven-day average of about three deaths a day a month ago to more than 13, the data shows.
The state’s hospitals are becoming overcrowded with Covid patients, who occupy about 47% of the state’s available intensive care beds, according to the Department of Health and Social Affairs.
Most of the most recent hospitalizations have been to people under the age of 50, and the state is seeing more children than last winter, state health officials said. There are currently six children with Covid in intensive care across the state, four of whom are life sustaining, and the state has only one specialty hospital for children.
“We’re going to see more of this, especially when we see broadcasts in school settings,” said Dobbs.
About 97% of the new cases in the state involve unvaccinated people, and the vast majority of deaths after the new cases will occur in unvaccinated people, he said. Daily hospital stays in the state are at their highest level since the pandemic began.
“We wouldn’t have this situation if we had a higher vaccination rate,” said Dobbs.
The state has the lowest per capita vaccination rate in the United States, but daily vaccination rates have tripled in the last month due to the spread of the dominant Delta variant, according to state health officials.
The vaccination will take weeks to provide adequate protection, Dobbs said. Patients are currently being turned away from busy local hospitals and redirected to other hospitals in the state that could be miles from the patient’s home.
“Don’t be surprised if you get sick and end up in a hospital 200 miles away,” said Dobbs.
Mississippi health officials say they don’t see any decline in cases or hospital stays in the coming weeks.
Vaccination is the best way to stop the spread of the Delta variant, Dobbs said. Individuals who are not vaccinated should wear a mask in public, especially indoors, and avoid gatherings where transmission could occur.
“I understand people’s desire for individual freedoms, but we’re in it together and what you do affects everyone,” said Dobbs.