Jackson, Mississippi, is now out of ICU beds, with few available beds statewide as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.
“Zero ICU beds in Jackson. Very few elsewhere. Please protect yourself and your family,” Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs tweeted Thursday morning.
There are only 106 available ICU beds remaining in the state out of 888 total, Mississippi Free Press reports. There were 1,271 new COVID-19 cases in Mississippi today.
Though there is still no mask mandate, GOP Gov. Tate Reeves, who has followed President Donald Trump’s lead and politicized the state’s response to the novel coronavirus, tweeted, “As cases rise, please take the threat seriously. None of us want to be responsible for spreading this disease to our most vulnerable loved ones.”
Reeves announced Thursday that his youngest daughter has tested positive for COVID-19.
According Mississippi Free Press, only five ICU beds remain open in Gulfport and none in Biloxi. Additionally, “There are also zero ICU beds available in Southaven and just one in nearby Olive Branch, both located in DeSoto County, where the sheriff is refusing to enforce mask and social distancing orders…In Hattiesburg, located in Forrest and Lamar counties, only one ICU bed remains (available). Greenville in Washington County is down to just one ICU bed.”
As ESSENCE previously reported, Dobbs said that white people’s refusal to wear masks and practice other safety procedures led to the increase in cases across the state.
“We’ve seen a pretty remarkable shift because early on, African-Americans accounted for basically two-thirds, or 60 percent or more, of cases and deaths,” he said on CNN. “Then over the summer, and especially going into the fall, we’ve seen that shift basically upside-down. Sixty-percent of new cases are caucasians and the deaths are nearing that also.”
Dobbs said that the state has been been working hard on safety measures, which have found “more fertile ground in the Black community.”
“As far as the case trends, we have had really pretty good uptake by a lot of folks in the Black community with masking and social distancing,” Dobbs said. “We’ve worked very aggressively to make sure that the Black community understands where the risks are and what can be done to prevent that. “And I just will say … I think big parts of the white community, especially in areas that maybe weren’t as hard-affected (previously), have not been as compliant or engaged actively with social distancing and masking. And I think that does make a difference.”
There are a reported 10,417,836 COVID-19 cases across the country and 234,328 reported COVID-19 deaths.
Read more at Mississippi Free Press.