JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - The chief medical officer of North Mississippi Health Services said the latest pandemic surge is the worst yet.
Reporter Erin Wilson spoke with Dr. Jeremy Blanchard about the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Calling the numbers alarming, he urged the public to take the precautions seriously before it’s too late.
He joins other health officials who are concerned about the upcoming holidays.
"We have not seen the cases from Thanksgiving Day hit yet,” he said. “We haven't seen the Christmas hit yet, and we haven't seen the New Year's."
Blanchard echoes the recommendation from the state health department, urging Mississippians do not gather during the holiday.
"We are really tight, it is real, there are times where there are no beds that we can transfer to."
The surge also greatly affects the healthcare workers treating those with the virus.
"It isn't just whether we have staff, it's the amount of illness our staff is having to deal with, the number of deaths they're having to deal with."
He said not all deaths are from coronavirus but the lack of time nurses are able to give to patients with other illnesses because of the extreme care needed for coronavirus patients.
He said wearing a mask is vital and to those who do, he said, "I want to be heard saying 'thanks for wearing a mask' and ‘thanks for being my superhero.'"
Blanchard added he expects this surge to last until the middle of January, which he says could result in a great number of deaths.