Miss. clinics see increase in COVID-19 cases as tests become available, cities declare civil emergency

DeSoto County clinics prepare for COVID-19 testing surge

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - The latest numbers from the Mississippi State Department of Health show nearly 250 positive cases of COVID-19 across the state.

DeSoto County comes in second with 23 positive cases, behind Hinds County in central Mississippi.

“We have more people than a lot of the counties do. Also, we’ve done more testing here probably than some of the other counties,” said DeSoto County EMS Director Mark Davis.

Southaven restaurants reduced to take-out, delivery after civil emergency declared

Davis says he expects the number of coronavirus cases to continue to climb as more testing becomes available.

On Monday, the county released a list of local clinics offering COVID-19 testing.

“It’s important that everybody just doesn’t run up there and try to get tested. Test kits are limited at this time,” said Davis.

Davis recommends you call your primary care physician first then call one of the clinics. Don’t just show up. Meantime, several north Mississippi cities have declared civil emergencies in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Over the weekend, city leaders in both Olive Branch and Southaven ordered many businesses to close.

“We all talk about how public health and safety is our number one priority so we have to make some decisions in line with that and I think and I think that’s where we are at this point,” said Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite in the meeting.

WMC reached out to Methodist Olive Branch Hospital and Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto.

A spokesperson with Baptist said:

"The tent outside the hospital is an extension of Baptist DeSoto’s emergency department, just like the mobile unit outside of Baptist Memphis is an extension of its emergency department. Being treated in the tent will be just like being treated in the emergency department. Only people with flu-like symptoms will be tested. It will be staffed during peak times for the emergency department. Our Baptist Medical Group primary care office in DeSoto County and our Olive Branch Baptist Minor Medical Center also provide COVID-19 testing.”

“This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s going to be a long haul, but if we do that, that will allow the hospitals to keep up rather than everything happening at once and then kind of pushing everything over the edge,” said Davis.

The list of clinics in DeSoto County will be updated daily. Click here -- https://www.desotocountyms.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=746

A spokesperson with Methodist Olive Branch Hospital said:

“Methodist Olive Branch Hospital is currently screening and appropriately testing patients at our emergency department. When a patient visits our hospital, we are screening based on CDC guidelines and performing tests only on those who meet the appropriate guidelines. We will not test a patient unless they have respiratory symptoms. We ask that patients call first before appearing at any Emergency Department so we can screen and test in a manner that minimizes exposure to others. We’ve launch outside-of-the-ED patient screening locations at our hospitals. Depending on what the facility has in place, a facility might have tent set up. Some facilities might not have a tent. At any rate, signage will be in place to guide people as they arrive on our hospital campuses.”

WMC also asked the Mississippi State Department of Health about testing sites, a spokesperson said these are private sites set up by local healthcare providers. The MSDH just alerts the public to the sites, but the sites are not the MSDH’s.

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