OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The Mississippi State Department of Health reported Oktibbeha County has 243 coronavirus cases.
Just in the last two weeks, nurses at OCH Regional Medical Center said a spike in positive tests had them working around the clock.
“The virus is still present. COVID-19 is still something we are very worried about. It is something we are seeing very ill people come in with,” said Infection Control Director Savannah Brown.
She says while some people do test positive for the virus, they’re noticing that the majority of patients are from long term care facilities.
“In our county right now, we do have several long term care facilities that are dealing with Covid-19. One or two in particular where we are seeing a significant outbreak. While that outbreak, patients in that outbreak, do not account for the entire spike we do have quite a few employees at some local care facilities that are testing positive and those people do count as our community count,” said Brown.
Due to those high numbers, the hospital has relied on extra hands to assist infected patients.
“We have had to stretch our staffing a little bit, we have had some or staff that are helping on the COVID units as well as med surge units, both in our COVID ICU and normal ICU. It has helped a good bit to be honest because partially due to this long term care facility outbreak we are seeing a-lot of Covid-19 patients compared to what we’ve been seeing prior,” said Brown.
Those volumes reflected the number of people testing too.
ICU Medical Director, Cameron Huxford said the amount of COVID-19 testing has almost doubled.
“We did have an increase last week compared to prior weeks. We’ve been averaging bout 40 something in the drive-through for the last few weeks that went up to the mid 60’s.Many of those were people who had been exposed to someone to have the virus so it was contact tracing,” said Dr. Huxford.
Huxford said while it seemed like COVID-19 numbers went up, more patients with the virus were actually recovering.
“I don’t want to minimize the fact that we say we only have long term care facilities here. We are able to take care of other folks with the coronavirus it’s just that the average healthy person in the community is not needing hospitalization,” said Huxford.
All of OCH’s outpatient clinics are now open.
Visitors must go through mandatory screening before they can enter the hospital.