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While there have been encouraging signs in Mississippi, discouraging COVID-19 trends continue to linger

ICU bed availability is "effectively zero," with just 13 available & waiting list of more than 200. A proposed DeSoto County field hospital is off the table for now.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Wednesday, those with the Mississippi State Department of Health outlined a mixed bag of COVID-19 news in the Magnolia State in recent days.

The good news: there is some stabilization in hospitalizations in recent days, including those patients in ICU. But those with MSDH cautioned the total and those on ventilators are still high.

Officials said Mississippi ICU bed availability is "effectively zero," with just 13 available and a waiting list of more than 200.

Dr. Paul Byers with MSDH said recently, a high proportion and growing percentage of new COVID cases are those school age children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old. 

Dr. Byers added that more than 23,000 students were out the past week on quarantine and around 500 teachers and nearly 4,000 students were new reported cases.

Not all Mississippi school districts report their week-by-week new COVID cases and quarantine totals among students and staff.

RELATED: Desoto County Schools reports 578 new student & staff COVID-19 cases on campus for last week

Jim Craig with MSDH added that of the 1138 requested medical staff to assist Mississippi, more than 74% are now in Magnolia State hospitals with more on the way.

It's unknown exactly how many members of the newly added outside staff are in place in DeSoto County hospitals, but Craig said the plan is to use that outside help inside existing hospitals.

That would hold off any plans - for now - of a proposed field hospital recently floated by some DeSoto County leaders.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs - the Mississippi State Health Officer - said monoclonal antibodies remain hugely beneficial if you've been recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

For more information, call the state's COVID hotline at (877) 978-6453 for more information about locations.

As of Wednesday in Mississippi, 99% of cases, 87% of hospitalizations and 87% of deaths were those who were not vaccinated.