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Mississippi will get 2nd area hospital in days

On regular days, the storage is the place folks park whereas visiting Mississippi’s solely kids’s hospital, a constructing subsequent door adorned with a brand of a rainbow and solar. Now air-conditioned tents with beds, screens and oxygen fill the storage’s backside ground.

By Wednesday, coronavirus sufferers will start being handled in Mississippi’s second area hospital opened inside days on the College of Mississippi Medical Heart campus. It comes because the surging delta variant of COVID-19 has overwhelmed hospitals in a state with one of many nation’s lowest vaccination charges.

The primary emergency area hospital opened final week with federal authorities backing after hospitalizations started spiking in Mississippi; this one is being spearheaded by a Christian reduction charity Samaritan’s Purse. The North Carolina-based reduction group arrived Sunday with greater than 50 extra medical professionals to erect tents with 32 extra beds.

College of Mississippi Medical Heart spokesperson Marc Rolph was somber about unfolding occasions.


“It’s unbelievable that we’re doing this once more inside what? 6 days? Heartbreaking,” he mentioned of two area hospitals which have gone up.

Mississippi’s State Well being Officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, is aware of lots of these contaminated will probably be younger.

In contrast to earlier surges, this wave is predominately impacting youthful, unvaccinated folks simply as courses are resuming, Dobbs mentioned. Extra kids are hospitalized than ever, and one between the ages of 11 and 17 died simply final week.

“As a substitute of seeing girls bury their mother and father, we’re seeing girls bury their kids,” he mentioned on a go to Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a tragic and heartbreaking factor.”


Greater than 392,300 folks have examined constructive for the virus because the begin of the pandemic in Mississippi, a state of about three million folks. No less than 7,880 have died since.

Dobbs likens the latest Mississippi surge to a “tsunami” and it has overwhelmed the state’s hospital system. On July 27, some 726 folks have been hospitalized with the coronavirus. By Aug. 16 that determine stood at 1,623.

Sufferers have been ready in hallways and emergency rooms, with no beds and no workers to instantly are inclined to them.

Aug. 17, 2021: Five intensive care beds, part of the 32-bed Samaritan's Purse Emergency Field Hospital, are set up in one of the University of Mississippi Medical Center's parking garages.

Aug. 17, 2021: 5 intensive care beds, a part of the 32-bed Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Area Hospital, are arrange in one of many College of Mississippi Medical Heart’s parking garages. (AP Picture/Rogelio V. Solis)

Dobbs mentioned the virus scenario in Mississippi is the worst its ever been, however even the most recent area hospital can have a big effect, saying it will deliver take care of these “who won’t get care of in any other case.”

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers mentioned Tuesday that about 20,000 Mississippi college students are at present quarantined for COVID-19 publicity — 4.5% of the general public college inhabitants, based on the most recent enrollment figures.

The state known as on the federal authorities for assist, and the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies deployed a workforce of three dozen physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists final week to arrange the primary emergency area hospital. That web site, in one other car parking zone on the College of Mississippi Medical Heart, is serving 20 sufferers.

Samaritan’s Purse is thought for its medical missions the world over, together with in Liberia, West Africa, the place it was on the frontlines of the Ebola outbreak. It’s at present additionally in Haiti serving to out after a lethal 7.2 magnitude earthquake there.

Because the pandemic’s begin, the charity has arrange 5 different emergency hospitals in areas of the world hardest hit by the virus, together with in Italy, New York Metropolis and Los Angeles County.

Edward Graham, assistant to the vp of applications and authorities relations at Samaritan’s Purse, mentioned his physicians are utilizing their coaching preventing Ebola and different emergencies to deal with the virus in Mississippi.

“These hospitals have been designed for abroad use; we by no means thought we’ll be doing this,” he mentioned. “However our neighbors right here in Mississippi have known as and requested for, and we’ve responded.”

The inflatable tents — adverse strain, to maintain the virus inside — are anchored by cinderblock in case of storms or excessive winds.

5 beds up to now have been set as much as deal with intensive care sufferers with ventilators.

Outdoors the tents, orange fencing marks the doorway to the “sizzling zone,” the place solely workers clothed in full PPE — two pairs of gloves, protecting robes, goggles, hair nets, rubber boots, face coverings — can go. Earlier than workers go away to enter the “clear zone,” they need to wash with bleach water.


Briefing journalists on Tuesday, the medical middle’s head, LouAnn Woodward, renewed pleases for folks to get vaccinated, noting the well being care workforce is exhausted and traumatized. Solely 34% of the state’s inhabitants is totally vaccinated.

Woodward mentioned that whereas Samaritan’s Purse is responding to a pure catastrophe in Haiti, the scenario in Mississippi is a “catastrophe of our personal making.”

“We as a state, as a collective, have failed to reply in a unified strategy to a standard menace, we have now failed to make use of the instruments that we have now to guard ourselves,” she mentioned.


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