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Hospital facing shortage of ventilators


Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center is reporting a critical need for ventilators as it continues to battle astronomically high COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“I just met with our frontline ICU team,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kevin Richardson said Monday. “ Without question, these are the most difficult days that we have ever faced.”

The hospital has 35 COVID-19 positive patients, with 17 patients in the intensive care unit and a record-breaking 12 patients on ventilator. One of the patients on a ventilator was vaccinated. Of the 35 patients, seven were vaccinated. Richardson also noted that there were three deaths from the virus in the past week. 

Richardson said the hospital had three available ventilators on Monday, and officials requested five more from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, with no firm date on when they will be delivered.

“We are critically low on ventilators.  We are now down to our last three reserve ventilators — for the entire hospital — that were supplied to us last year from FEMA,” he said. “More ventilators have been requested from MEMA, but critical shortage of staffing remains a significant challenge.”

Meanwhile, the state reported 3,763 cases over the weekend with 71 deaths for a total of  464,075 known cases in the state since the beginning of the pandemic and 8,976 deaths. 

Pike County has had 5,362 cases, totaling 13.6% of the county’s population, with 128 deaths. That means 2.4% of all Pike County residents who contracted the virus have died. 

Pike County has a total vaccinated population of 38%. Nearly half of the county, 46%, has taken its the first dose.

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Amite County saw a rise of its fully vaccinated population to 29% since last week. Franklin County went up to 38%, Lawrence County reported to 45%, Lincoln County rose to 31%, Walthall County went up 31%.

Wilkinson County continues to have the highest fully vaccinated population in this area, with 46% of its population fully vaccinated.

The state’s vaccination rates saw a significant rise to 40.8% from 39.6% with 48.5% of the population having taken the first dose, beating Wyoming’s and West Virginia’s 39.9%, Alabama’s 40.2% and Idaho’s 40.1%. 

Georgia the closest to Mississippi, is beating the state with its 42.8% rate.





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