Warren County’s coronavirus case numbers have increased in the last month, but so far, the intensive care unit at Merit Health River Region is not at capacity.
The Mississippi State Department of Health on Wednesday reported 28 ICUs across the state were at capacity due to increased COVID-19 hospitalizations. Merit Health River Region has 24 staffed adult ICU beds, and as of July 26, four of those beds were occupied by coronavirus patients — approximately 17 percent of the available beds. Twelve other ICU beds were occupied by non-COVID patients, with eight ICU beds available.
According to Leigh White, marketing director for the hospital, the hospital is prepared for patients, regardless of their afflictions.
“Our emergency room is prepared to care for all patients who need medical attention and we encourage patients experiencing a medical emergency to seek care promptly,” she said. “COVID-19 inpatient numbers are going up, particularly in the ICU. Patient numbers and unit bed availability are fluid throughout any day as patients are discharged and admitted.”
Warren County ranks 15th in new coronavirus cases for the most recent two-week period (July 9 through 16), with 123 new cases reported. As of July 20, there were eight Delta variant cases reported and 21 Alpha variant cases.
Between June 12 and July 17, eight children below age 4 tested positive for COVID-19 in Warren County; 15 children ages 5 to 17; 24 people ages 18 to 24; 46 people ages 25 to 39; 24 people ages 40 through 49; 20 people ages 50 to 64; and eight people ages 65 and up.
In order to manage hospital bed availability, White said, those with COVID-19 symptoms need to take steps to stop the spread of the virus.
“Unless you are seeking medical care, we encourage community members to stay at home if you have COVID-19 symptoms and get vaccinated as soon as possible,” she said. “Vaccines remain the best strategy for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”