School buses are rolling, students are beginning to the “new” learning process, a statewide face mask mandate is in effect in Mississippi and in classrooms by order of the governor, and Scott County surpassed the 1,000 mark of positive COVID-19 cases this week.
Statewide, however, there have been at least three consecutive days of lower than average positive cases of coronavirus reported, with less than 700 cases per day, and that trend has carried over locally according Lackey Hospital CEO Sydney Sawyer, RN.
“Commmunity-wise it seems like we are having less positives than we did a few weeks ago,” Sawyer said Tuesday morning. Our unit is full, and it seems like we are still having lots of really sick people that come through the ER that we are having to work with, but not as many positives with the folks we are testing.”
Sawyer added that in the last week the problem of Jackson hospitals being overwhelmed has improved. “Transferring is a little easier,” he said. “We’ve been able to transfer. We’ve done okay with it so far.”
Sawyer also had only praise for local school officials and their plans as students return to the classroom. “I think we’re going to see some ‘hot spots’ in the schools before it is over with,” he said “but I don’t know that. I think the schools are doing a fantastic job. We are trying to help them with some telemedicine and some testing at the schools. I’m waiting on equipment which should be here by mid-September. Long term hopefully we can help them. If they get tested and they (students or teachers) don’t have anything we can send them back to class, but if they do we can get them out of the school.”
When it comes to the approaching flu season Sawyer said he felt there would be more people getting the vaccination this year but has hopes that some of the safety measures already in place for COVID-19 will help reduce the spread of influenza.
“I think you are going to maybe see with the hygiene and other things, (hand washing and hand sanitizers and social distancing) maybe, it will help with the flu too.” At the same time the CEO reiterated that there are some very sick people still suffering from coronavirus. “The hospital is as busy as it has ever been and these people are very ill,” he said, “but overall it seems like we are having less positives in the testing unit and that means less community spread.”
As of Tuesday’s daily report from the Mississippi State Department of Health, Scott County was reporting 1011 positive cases of COVID-19 since March 11 when records first began being kept. The county also is reporting 20 deaths. Those numbers reflect an increase of 49 cases and one death from the time last week.
Statewide records show there were 527 new positive cases Sunday, 476 new case Monday and 644 new cases Tuesday bringing the statewide total since March 11 to 68,293 positive cases with 1,944 deaths. Prior to Sunday the state had been reporting over 1,000 new cases almost every day for the last week.