COVID-19 hospitalizations increasing at Rush Health Systems

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 2:32 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - There’s been an uptick in the amount of people being admitted to Rush Health Systems due to the coronavirus.

“We had been running about less than one or two [admissions] a time, and we’ve seen over the last four to five days, significant admissions,” said Dr. Fred Duggan, the chief medical officer at Rush Health Systems.

Health officials say that the Delta variant is a lot more transmissible, and those who get vaccinated have a much lower risk of getting hospitalized due to the virus.

“We know that if you take the vaccination, you have 98% protection from serious illness from the Delta variant. So the idea is, being vaccinated protects you to a good degree from getting it, but it really protects you from getting serious illness,” Dr. Duggan said. “So it’s very important that everyone get vaccinated.”

Although the current increase remains below what we’ve seen during the height of the pandemic, it’s still causing problems here locally.

“It’s not as high as it has been in the past, but a year and a half of COVID has really taken a toll on the staff that we have,” Dr. Duggan said. “And so we don’t have as much staff as when we started all this- there’s a lot of people that have left the nursing profession- so our ability to handle the large numbers and the big surges is going to be a little bit more challenging.”

Anyone age 12 and older are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine for free.

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