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.

Confirmed Cases: 98190

Reported Deaths: 2969
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7189161
DeSoto569464
Harrison394175
Jackson358570
Rankin337280
Madison334190
Lee293572
Forrest254275
Jones252780
Washington227879
Lafayette221240
Lauderdale2078126
Bolivar187370
Oktibbeha181952
Lamar176237
Lowndes160858
Neshoba1599104
Panola151631
Sunflower149146
Leflore143882
Warren141850
Pontotoc130116
Monroe125369
Pike124954
Copiah119933
Scott118027
Coahoma117530
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Grenada110136
Holmes110060
Yazoo106733
Simpson105847
Tate101938
Union101224
Leake96538
Adams94937
Wayne91521
Pearl River91453
Prentiss88418
Marion87537
Itawamba85921
Alcorn83411
Covington83223
George78513
Tallahatchie78324
Newton78124
Winston74619
Tishomingo71039
Tippah70518
Chickasaw69524
Attala67225
Clarke61149
Walthall60426
Clay59919
Hancock59822
Jasper58415
Noxubee55816
Smith55115
Calhoun52912
Tunica50015
Montgomery47020
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44414
Lawrence43914
Perry43221
Quitman3905
Greene38917
Stone38013
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34711
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll33112
Wilkinson30818
Kemper29115
Sharkey26714
Jefferson2439
Benton2333
Franklin1993
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 138162

Reported Deaths: 2405
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson20221352
Mobile13558295
Tuscaloosa9029118
Montgomery8894187
Madison800580
Shelby616450
Lee601761
Baldwin564052
Marshall398345
Etowah357545
Calhoun356944
Morgan334929
Houston295421
Elmore273948
DeKalb246121
St. Clair237937
Walker236987
Talladega219030
Limestone215720
Cullman192220
Dallas179926
Franklin179430
Autauga179127
Russell17903
Lauderdale175934
Colbert168426
Blount162915
Escambia162024
Jackson161112
Chilton160930
Dale141844
Covington141628
Coffee13936
Pike122011
Chambers117942
Tallapoosa117385
Clarke110916
Marion97629
Butler91740
Barbour8967
Winston75112
Marengo72820
Pickens67215
Randolph67213
Bibb66411
Lowndes65927
Hale65328
Geneva6505
Lawrence63625
Cherokee62013
Bullock61015
Clay5929
Monroe5928
Washington56012
Crenshaw54532
Perry5436
Conecuh53811
Wilcox53211
Henry5145
Macon48318
Fayette47311
Sumter43419
Cleburne4085
Lamar3822
Choctaw35212
Greene30615
Coosa1743
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