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Second COVID-19 wave has hit the Mid-South

“As we learned the first time, it’s kind of too late when you see the numbers coming up,” said Dr. Steve Threlkeld with Baptist Memorial Hospital.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Globally, we are seeing the number of COVID-19 cases rise. That includes in the Mid-South. 

What are local health facilities doing to prepare for this next wave of COVID? Local 24 News Reporter Brittani Moncrease tells us.

At Baptist Memorial Hospital, plans are already underway for the second wave of COVID-19. The cases are increasing and the staff is trying to get ahead of it. 

Here's the deal. 

“As we learned the first time, it’s kind of too late when you see the numbers coming up,” said Dr. Steve Threlkeld, Baptist Memorial Hospital Medical Director Infectious Disease. 

A second wave of COVID-19 is here. 

Dr. Threlkeld said Baptist Memorial Hospital had 100 to 110 patients when the virus peaked over the summer. Now, it's back up.

“We’re already up, for example, in our hospital from a low of 50 back up to almost 80 today. You’re talking about a large increase already.” 

On the bright side, there is a lot the hospital has learned from the first wave.  

“You also have to take into account that we’re better at keeping people out of the hospital now than we were the first go around. Those numbers would have been a lot bigger probably if you’re talking about the first round because we’re able to keep people safely at home on a little bit of oxygen and close follow-up and telemedicine,” said Dr. Threlkeld.

Plus, doctors found that steroids significantly help keep the COVID death rate down. 

“The problem now is that there’s sort of a malaise and a fatigue that sort of set in about this. People are just tired of doing those common sense straight forward things that we know can help us,” said Dr. Threlkeld. 

Then, there is the flu. 

“We need to be very careful to get our flu vaccine this year,” said Dr. Threlkeld. “It really more than most things stands to be an extra challenge that could really overwhelm the outpatient healthcare system.”  

Doctors are also concerned about the holidays. College students will be returning home. People may have gatherings which could particularly be dangerous for the elderly.

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