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COVID cases and deaths still climbing locally

Hospitalizations and COVID-19 deaths continue to surge as King’s Daughters Medical Center prepares for its second round of the Moderna vaccine.

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Department of Health released its newest coronavirus statistics. There were 1,648 new cases and 98 new deaths overnight across the state. There were 222 current long-term care facility outbreaks.

Mississippi has now had 241,957 cases and 5,284 deaths reported.

In Lincoln County, there were 2,842 total cases — 20 new cases reported — and two new deaths — 83 total.

Hospitalizations have steadily climbed since the end of last year, with 1,370 confirmed cases in hospitals across Mississippi, as of Sunday. There were 344 patients in intensive care and 221 patients on ventilators.

As of Monday, the intensive care unit at the Brookhaven medical center had five patients, with no available beds, according to MSDH. There were 36 total staffed beds with 15 confirmed COVID-19 patients.

“We’re still busy,” Hoover said. “We’re getting referrals from outside of the hospital. It’s staying pretty steep for us.”

KDMC is still participating in a care system that allows the hospital to send patients to other patients and receive patients from other hospitals across Mississippi. Hoover said the emergency room often has two or three intensive care patients on the floor due to there not being enough room in the ICU for them.

“We’re extremely busy,” Hoover said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 50 COVID-19 related deaths at KDMC. Since Dec. 23, there have been 14 COVID-19 related deaths.

“In the last three weeks, 25% of our deaths occurred,” Hoover said.

“These were people that had a lot of living in front of them,” Hoover said. “Please wash your hands, wear a mask and keep your distance.”

On Dec. 21, 2020, the Moderna vaccine was distributed at the hospital among its employees. According to CEO Alvin Hoover, as of early January no employee had suffered any adverse reaction. The staff at KDMC should receive the second dose of the Moderna vaccine the week of Jan. 18.