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Doctors say Lauderdale Co. COVID cases are in good shape compared to other counties

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 12:48 PM CDT
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LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) -According to the Mississippi State Health Department, COVID case numbers are on the rise at a sharp rate.

State health officials predicting a rough remainder of summer and even worse fall.

“We were going down, our case load was dropping. Our reproductive rate less than 1, and we lost our minds,” says Dr. Thomas Dobbs, MS State Health Officer.

But according to Chief Medical Officer of Rush Health Systems, Fred Duggan, concerns may not be as severe for Lauderdale County.

“Probably our peaks were in April and May, and since then we’ve had a steady decline in hospitalizations and we even haven’t seen an uptick yet.”

Lauderdale County Emergency Management Director, Odie Barrett says numbers within the past few weeks show that the county is averaging around 5 cases per day

“You know were doing 35 to 50 tests a day, and we’re only getting five cases coming back positive, that’s not a bad turn around,” says Barrett.

The health department issued an order last week to hold off elective surgeries in several counties because they're running out of beds.

However, it’s the non-COVID related patients that are filling up beds at Rush Hospital.

“We really have a lot of capacity still available, but what we’re full with is related to non-COVID.”

Doctor Duggan says there are two COVID treatments that the hospital is working with right now that will soon be available to the public.

“One is Remdesivir, which is an anti-viral agent that’s used in Ebola. We’ve gotten some samples of it from the government, it’s going to be sold by Gilead coming up pretty soon and open to the general public, but we’ve used it significantly. The other drug that’s out there that’s very important is steroids, Decadron’s been proven in a study in England to decrease morbidity and mortality and that’s something we’ve been using from the very beginning.”

And if we stay on track, he sees hope for the future months to come.

“We really are in good shape, we have not one time during this crisis had a lack of PPE or a lack of ventilators and I think we’ve planned for the future and we’re going to be ready.”

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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