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Surging COVID-19 Delta variant cases taxing hospitals and staff
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A nurse prepares to administer a COVID-19 test at the Dr. H. Jack Geiger Medical Center, Mound Bayou, April 2020
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

COVID-19 Delta variant cases are growing fast and the state health officer says sadly there will be more deaths.



State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says he’s receiving calls from hospitals struggling to manage the explosion of COVID-19 Delta variant cases; one is running out of ventilators.  He says nurses and doctors are contracting COVID-19 reducing staffing.  Between Friday and Sunday, the department of health is reporting nearly 5,000 new cases and 13 deaths.

“And we’re seeing that the people who are hospitalized who are severely ill, specially the younger ones, are 30 and 40 and 50 year old folks who are in the ICU. They’re all unvaccinated.  We haven’t had a single death in a vaccinated person under 50 and we’ve had a lot of deaths and we’re going to see a lot more in 30s and 40s,” said Dobbs.

The number of people getting vaccinated has doubled in the past couple of weeks according to Dobbs.  Mississippi has one of the lowest rates in the country at 34 percent.  He says this surge could mean schools may want to go to virtual learning. 

“It’s just a hard time right now.  I know we feel compelled for good reasons to have kids in the classroom.  Measures like that probably make a lot of sense in a lot of areas, especially for our younger kids or even delaying starting school,” said Dobbs.  

Dobbs says Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are over 90 percent effective against severe disease and it takes five weeks to be protected against COVID-19.  He’s urging all people vaccinated or not to wear a mask in public and avoid large gatherings.