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Coronavirus hospitalizations continue to rise in Mississippi
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UMMC is among several hospitals at, or beyond capacity in ICUs
Kobee Vance, MPB News

Hospitalizations from the Coronavirus are on the rise in Mississippi, and Intensive care units in 12 Mississippi hospitals are operating at maximum capacity.

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Mississippi hospitals are preparing for a second wave of the coronavirus. Governor Tate Reeves issued an order Monday requiring hospitals to reserve 10% capacity for future coronavirus patients, saying he's concerned about growing cases over the next 4 to 8 weeks. Dr. Roderick Givens is with the Mississippi State Medical Association. He says one of the most at-risk healthcare functions are intensive care units. "You can certainly create bed space for someone who just needs some oxygen, but ventilators, intensive care that's associated with ICUs, there's limited capacity. And so once that's maxed out, that's it," says Dr. Givens. "At the peak Jackson was full and they had to get diverted and sent out of state simply because that higher level of care, you just can't instantly create it."

During the summer months when the coronavirus peaked, hospitals throughout the state were operating at maximum capacity. Hospitalizations in Mississippi are up 44% since the beginning of October. Dr. Givens says "Without any intervention, we're going to see a second surge, unfortunately. And so what's going to be important is curbing the number of new cases."

Officials encourage wearing a face mask to slow the spread of the coronavirus, even where masks are not mandated.