Local COVID-19 numbers on decline, doctor says
NATCHEZ — Adams County’s COVID-19 caseload is up 4% but the week prior the caseload was up 5%, an infectious disease doctor told local leaders during Monday’s Natchez COVID-19 Task Force meeting.
“So, we have a declining number of cases,” said Dr. Lee England, chairman of the Natchez COVID-19 Task Force during Monday’s meeting. “That is also reflected at the hospital.”
England made his comments Monday before the Mississippi State Department of Health released updated statewide COVID-19 numbers, including Adams County’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 222 with 17 deaths. Of Adams County’s numbers included 43 cases and 10 deaths reported in long-term care facilities.
Statewide, Mississippi reported Monday 17,768 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 837 deaths.
England said while Adams County still has new COVID-19 cases the load is not as bad as it had been in previous weeks.
“We do have some COVID cases here but not nearly like we did four to six weeks ago,” England said.
Lance Boyd, CEO of Merit Health Natchez told task force members the numbers at the hospital reflect what England said.
“We have six COVID patients in house,” Boyd said. “Only one of those is on a ventilator. The rest of those are stable. Like Dr. England said, we are just not seeing the same volume that we were seeing a couple of months ago.”
Boyd said the hospital had a low COVID-19 testing volume over the weekend.
“We got nervous in the middle of the week,” Boyd said. “We had a huge spike in testing but we have had a lot of negative tests come back.”
Boyd said the Merit Health Natchez has changed its visitation policy to allow people to visit non-COVID-19 patients.
“Starting this morning at 6 a.m. we changed our visitation policy to open that a little bit more,” Boyd said. “We previously had not allowed any visitors at all for our inpatient or non-COVID part of the hospital, but we do have new visitation times from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We are opening up but we still have to do screenings.”
England said his research shows that two nearby states have rising COVID-19 cases numbers since they reopened their economies.
“Those are Texas and Florida and I think overall the number of cases in Mississippi is either continuing to rise or either has plateaued, just going by stats that I got in this morning,” England said. “There are counties in Mississippi whose caseloads are up 40% over the last week so it is very spotty. We have passed our peak. When another wave comes we don’t know. I’m just watching that week to week on the number of cases. Right now it is on a decline.”
New Guidelines for Visitations at Merit Health
- Visitation Hours will be in effect and strictly enforced between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.
- Visitors must be 16 years of age or older.
- Patients are limited to one visitor per day, and the visitor must remain in the patient’s room at all times.
- These new visitation guidelines are for patients in the following units: 2North (Outpatient Surgery), 4th Floor (Medical/Surgical), and 5th Floor (Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit)
The following guidelines have not changed and are still in effect for OB, ED and COVID-19 patients:
- Emergency Department patients may have one visitor accompany them into the ED, and the visitor must remain in the patient’s room at all times.
- OB patients may have one visitor throughout their stay in Labor and Delivery.
- Pediatric Patients may have two visitors, and both must be parents, guardians or caregiver.
- Exceptions will continue to include end-of-life and patients needing assistance with communication/behavioral care.
- Visitation will remain closed for our COVID-19 patients and patients suspected of COVID-19. If you would like to drop off a card, gift or message of encouragement, we are happy to deliver those to patients. You may also call a patient’s room or visit patients using Facetime or another video communication app.
Visitors must pass a screening process including a temperature check and questions regarding symptoms and risk factors before being allowed to enter. Visitors also must bring their own mask and wear it at all times while in the hospital.
The front entrance of the hospital will remain open Monday through Friday and be closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Cases and Deaths by County
Totals of all reported cases since March 11, including those in long-term care (LTC) facilities.
|County||Total Cases||Total Deaths||Total LTC Facility Cases||Total LTC Facility Deaths|