Hospital CEO tests positive for COVID-19 as local cases rise

Published 1:47 pm Friday, November 27, 2020

NATCHEZ — Merit Health Natchez CEO Lance Boyd tested positive for COVID-19 and is quarantined at home, he said Friday.

Several social media posts in recent days regarding Merit Health Natchez hospital said the COVID-19 unit and ICU were completely full. One post said the COVID-19 patients being admitted were presenting more severe symptoms.

MSDH showed no available ICU beds and two available staffed beds at Merit Health Natchez as of Tuesday, Nov. 24.

On Tuesday, Merit Health Natchez reported four adult COVID-19 patients in ICU and 10 confirmed positive COVID-19 patients at the hospital, the MSDH website states.

“Our capacity constantly changes based on patients in our care and staffing,” Boyd said Friday. “This is a very fluid situation and the figures vary throughout the day as patients are admitted and discharged. We encourage individuals experiencing a medical emergency to seek care promptly.”

Boyd said people can help the hospital by following community guidelines that are posted on the hospital’s website, www.merithealthnatchez.com/covid-19.

MSDH reported 1,005 new cases statewide and six new COVID-19 related deaths Friday. Two new deaths were recorded by MSDH for Adams County on Thursday, bringing the county’s total number of deaths reported by MSDH to 50.

Adams County COVID-19 cases continue to rise at a rapid rate, data from the Mississippi State Department of Health shows.

Volunteer statistician Norma Williams, using data from MSDH, said Adams County has accumulated 207 new COVID-19 cases in a period of 17 days.

“MSDH reported 19 new cases for 11/26 in Adams County bringing the total to 1,411 cases,” Williams states in an email sent Friday morning. “The last 207 cases were accumulated in a RECORD 17 DAYS, which is 4.3 times faster than it took to accumulate the first 200 cases.”

The state’s total number of COVID-19 cases since March now stands at 148,387 with 3,769 deaths.