Gov. Reeves outlines state’s plan as COVID-19 peak nears

During today’s press briefing, Governor Tate Reeves outlined the state’s plan to ensure the healthcare system’s ability to handle a potential surge in COVID-19 cases. 

Data shows that peak resource use in Mississippi will come on April 18th, according to the Governor and with that date approaching, he explained that the state’s surge plan shows the need for 3,392 beds. Currently, the system has around 3,000. 

In order to fill the need for more beds, the Governor stated that Camp Shelby and another site in North Mississippi could provide space for 200 beds each. He also noted that the state may need to pull from its reserves to increase the number of available ICU beds. Because data can quickly change, the Governor explained that the state’s plan took the current projections of how many beds would be needed and increased it by 50%. 

“I’m not telling you today that we are going to need these 200 beds in North Mississippi or these 200 beds in South Mississippi. I’m telling you that our approach is we would rather have it and not need it rather than to need it and not have it. That’s what we learned during Hurricane Katrina, that’s what we’ve learned from other disasters around the globe, and that’s what Mississippi is going to prepare for.”

During the briefing, the Governor also reiterated that the Department of Employment Security continues to deal with an overwhelming number of claims as unemployment rates soar.  He reminds everyone that when you are able to file a claim, you will receive your full benefits. 

The Governor was also asked if there have been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Department of Corrections. He stated that two MDOC employees have tested positive. Three inmates have been tested, but all tests came back negative. 

This morning, the state’s total number of cases rose to 1,738 and 51 people have passed away due to the virus.