Mississippi On Track To Become No. 1 State For New Coronavirus Cases Per Capita

LouAnn Woodward, who leads the University of Mississippi Medical Center, supports a statewide mask required. She says state leaders are “in a pickle,” based on medical suggestions against popular opposition.

Joe Ellis/UMMC Photography

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Joe Ellis/UMMC Photography

LouAnn Woodward, who leads the University of Mississippi Medical Center, supports a statewide mask mandate. But she says state leaders are “in a pickle,” based on medical recommendations against popular opposition.

Joe Ellis/UMMC Photography

As an outcome, the challenges specific to the coronavirus pandemic are “layered on top of our existing difficulties,” says Dr. LouAnn Woodward, who is the top executive at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

She supports a statewide mask mandate. Mississippis governor has enforced particular mask requirements on 37 of Mississippis 82 counties however has actually not executed a statewide required.

The state already faces high levels of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problem and weight problems.

By several measures, the coronavirus situation in the state will continue to worsen, Woodward talks Things Considered.

Since July 31, just 17% of the states 904 ICU beds were available, according to the state health department.

Here are excerpts from the complete interview.

The majority of the states significant hospitals have had challenges with capacity, especially ICU capacity, in current weeks, states Woodward, who is likewise dean of the University of Mississippis medical school and an emergency medication physician.

Mississippi is heading for a title that no state would want: It is on track to surpass Florida to end up being the No. 1 state for new coronavirus infections per capita, according to scientists at Harvard.

When you state this is challenging for hospitals and its going to get worse, what does that really look like in the ICU?

Do you feel like state officials are your partners in this? Does it feel like politicians in the state are listening to you when you say how alarming the circumstance is?

Do you feel like state officials are your partners in this? Does it feel like politicians in the state are listening to you when you state how alarming the circumstance is?

We have been full for several weeks. When other hospitals around the state call us for help, were unable to take their patients. Weve had to help a number of times in having patients moved really out of state.

The residents in Mississippi extremely much value that freedom to make their own decisions and not be informed what to do based on hot areas and based on numbers determined throughout the state.

NPRs Justine Kenin and Elena Burnett modified and produced the audio version of this interview.

The clients with COVID are remaining usually longer than numerous of our critical care patients, so they are tying up beds for a longer period of time. As the time goes on, were also seeing the tiredness that our own, particularly crucial care teams, however also emergency situation department groups and our COVID units, are experiencing. And part of that challenge is we do not understand the endpoint.

It is extremely difficult due to the fact that as a group of citizens, in Mississippi, there is a lot of value that is put on the persons ability to make choices about their own life. The people in Mississippi extremely much worth that flexibility to make their own choices and not be informed what to do based on hot areas and based on numbers recognized throughout the state.

When other health centers around the state call us for aid, were unable to take their patients. Weve had to help a number of times in having patients moved really out of state.

There are a lot of residents … that would not support that. Our state officials are in a pickle, honestly, since they are in a bind between what the medical profession is informing them and what they know would be the opinion of a lot of the people in the state of Mississippi who would prefer to not be told, however choose to use the mask if they feel that they should.

Speaking from a medical standpoint, if you take a look at the data, what we have been doing has actually not altered the trajectory of our number of hospitalizations, the variety of brand-new cases, and so on. We need to do something various.