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Mississippi leaders eyeing ICC as possible care site

MEMA is having discussions with Itawamba Community College about using its Fulton campus as a medical aid site.

Posted: Apr 13, 2020 4:42 PM
Updated: Apr 13, 2020 5:15 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - Mississippi’s emergency management chief indicated the state may have narrowed its focus on where to go in north Mississippi if extra hospital beds are needed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency executive director Greg Michel said there have been discussions with the president of Itawamba Community College (ICC) about using its Fulton campus.

Michel said during the state’s Monday afternoon coronavirus news conference the site would be ICC or somewhere close to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

According to Michel, the site would not be for coronavirus patients but would provide step-down care. However, Gov. Tate Reeves added it appears the extra hospital beds will not likely be needed.

Several days ago, state leaders announced plans for two sites where additional hospital beds could be set up if Mississippi ran out of regular hospital beds. The site announced for south Mississippi was Camp Shelby south of Hattiesburg. The site for north Mississippi was to be determined.

ICC later released the following statement:

Itawamba Community College has a longstanding tradition of heeding the call to help others. Whether it be assisting a veteran to earn an associate’s degree after returning from war, training the next generation of healthcare providers or volunteering in its local communities.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact our world, ICC has been asked to provide significant assistance for North Mississippi. The College is working with the Governor’s Office, MEMA, MSDH and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other officials to transform a facility on the Fulton Campus into an official alternate care site, freeing up-to 100 hospital beds during the peak of the outbreak.

While still in the planning phase, the facility would serve as a contingency site only if local rural hospitals were to become inundated. The Mississippi State Department of Health would operate this alternative care site which would provide recovering patients a safe and comfortable setting while they are still being isolated and monitored. The facility was identified under the Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force guidelines and would only be activated if the need arises.

All residence halls and facilities have been closed to the general public since March 6 as ICC observed Spring Break and then began addressing the COVID-19 spread which led all instruction to transition to online. The College is currently operating under an altered schedule allowing a de-densified office setting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while sanitizing takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends. All locations continue to be closed to the public for face-to-face interaction.

“We have the availability of a solitary residence hall and a large open space facility that can be used in this isolation setting,” said ICC President Dr. Jay Allen. “While this may not be an ideal situation, we are glad to assist the state in this historic time of need. It is our hope that the projections prove accurate and our alternate care site is never occupied, but we are prepared if the need arises.”

For the safety of ICC’s employees, the facility would not be accessed by College staff if the site is activated. It is the College’s priority not only to ensure the health and well-being of its community, but also that its students are able to complete their courses and advance their progress toward graduation, all while preparing contingencies to ensure the continued functioning of its operations. Currently, the activation of the alternate care site would not affect the current operational schedule of the College. Any facility that would be used will be completely sanitized post-activation.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 297651

Reported Deaths: 6808
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19831231
Hinds18971395
Harrison16904283
Rankin12853265
Jackson12756234
Lee9725163
Madison9525204
Jones8045148
Forrest7300138
Lauderdale6879228
Lowndes6062140
Lamar594282
Lafayette5768114
Washington5235130
Bolivar4633124
Oktibbeha443395
Panola433798
Pearl River4219132
Warren4145115
Pontotoc411071
Marshall406795
Monroe3998129
Union397074
Neshoba3857171
Lincoln3632104
Hancock353578
Leflore3404122
Sunflower321386
Tate304674
Pike303497
Scott296871
Alcorn292863
Yazoo292666
Itawamba290775
Coahoma283169
Tippah280265
Copiah280159
Simpson277981
Prentiss271258
Marion258878
Wayne255841
Leake254872
Covington250480
Grenada249178
Adams236278
Newton233353
George232845
Winston222579
Jasper214645
Tishomingo213266
Attala210571
Chickasaw202054
Holmes183470
Clay179452
Stone173529
Tallahatchie171839
Clarke170773
Calhoun158728
Smith154433
Yalobusha146036
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123335
Lawrence121721
Carroll119725
Amite112535
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102931
Tunica99824
Claiborne99130
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91523
Quitman77514
Franklin76520
Choctaw70317
Jefferson62927
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 500092

Reported Deaths: 10148
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson720821403
Mobile36436741
Madison32722469
Tuscaloosa24465422
Montgomery22826523
Shelby22301219
Baldwin19942289
Lee15084161
Calhoun13968296
Morgan13810255
Etowah13427327
Marshall11460215
Houston10140264
Elmore9523190
Limestone9443139
St. Clair9061228
Cullman9012183
Lauderdale8631214
DeKalb8510175
Talladega7650165
Walker6606260
Jackson6554104
Autauga636492
Blount6256128
Colbert6012121
Coffee5270104
Dale4688107
Russell408934
Franklin400979
Covington4000107
Chilton3924104
Escambia379673
Tallapoosa3636143
Clarke344653
Chambers3434111
Dallas3427142
Pike293373
Marion289096
Lawrence286387
Winston258768
Bibb246458
Marengo245457
Geneva240670
Pickens226457
Barbour214351
Hale212969
Fayette202857
Butler201766
Henry183841
Cherokee178340
Monroe166839
Randolph165541
Washington157136
Macon147945
Crenshaw147355
Clay146254
Cleburne140341
Lamar133933
Lowndes133351
Wilcox123125
Bullock117736
Conecuh107124
Perry106427
Sumter101032
Coosa90324
Greene88932
Choctaw56123
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