JACKSON, Miss — UPDATE: 7/13/2021 Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs issued an update regarding the number of children in ICU and on life support due to COVID-19. There are seven children in ICU and two on life support.
Mississippi is on high alert after COVID-19 cases surge. Health officials are seeing outbreaks in youth and the elderly. Some were even vaccinated.
Local 24 News Reporter Brittani Moncrease gives us a closer look.
It was predicted just a few weeks ago. Now, it is a reality.
“We’re starting to pay the price for it,” said Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi Health Officer.
The Delta variant is now the predominant strain of COVID in Mississippi.
Tuesday, the state reported 219 new cases, 10 new deaths, and 34 long-term care facilities with COVID outbreaks.
Dr. Dobbs had this to say in a press conference Friday.
“We have seen, pretty much, an entire takeover of the Delta variant for transmission,” said Dr. Dobbs. “We’ve had a significant increase in our cases. We’ve seen increasing utilization of ICU beds. Although the system is not overwhelmed, we do have concerns about it.”
It is especially concerning among youth. Dr. Dobbs tweeted 12 children are in the ICU, with 10 on a ventilator.
“We’re seeing a lot of outbreaks in youth. We’re seeing a lot of outbreaks in summer activities. We’re also seeing a lot of outbreaks in nursing homes where we have our most vulnerable people,” said Dr. Dobbs.
“Our collective under-vaccination in the state has put us all at risk, especially the most vulnerable,” said Dr. Dobbs.
In the last week there have been 379 children under the age of 18 who tested positive for COVID-19. They are part of the nearly 43,000 total cases reported in children in the last year. Three of those children died.
There were also 74 cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome with four deaths.
The 65 and older age group is still reporting the most hospitalizations, but the highest jump in cases in the last week was among those 25 to 39. They had 481 new cases in the last week.
Take a look at these graphs.
The graph shows the hospitalizations from June 22nd to July 12th.
Confirmed COVID cases went from 228 cases Monday to 268 Tuesday.
Patients in ICU went from 84 to 93 from Monday to Tuesday.
Patients on ventilators increased from 32 to 49 in a day.
The following graph show the switch from other strains indicated in blue to the Delta variant indicated in green.
“We have a lot of COVID circulating again unfortunately,” said Dr. Dobbs.
He tweeted 7% of deaths are people who are vaccinated.
The Mississippi Health Department has additional recommendations to COVID guidelines.
“Through July 26, if you’re over 65 or you have high risk chronic medical conditions that would put you high risk for COVID - even if you’ve been vaccinated - we want you to stay away from mass gatherings,” said Dr. Dobbs.
The recommendation is helping to give those who are most vulnerable a chance to protect themselves.
Local 24 News reached out to the Mississippi Health Department regarding those children in ICU. There is no word yet on their age range and whether or not they were vaccinated.