As the virus surges, hospital officials are begging residents to get vaccinated. UMMC announced in July that it would mandate its 10,000 employees and 3,000 students to be vaccinated or wear an N95 mask on campus. By the end of August, leaders revised that policy; vaccination is the only option.
Moriarity said this surge had taken a toll on morale more than previous peaks of the virus. Her team thought in May and June that despite Mississippi’s low vaccination rate, there was an end in sight. The hospital’s ICUs were empty, and they had few COVID patients. Then cases surged with the delta variant of the virus, swamping the hospital.
The numbers of total coronavirus hospitalizations in Mississippi have dipped slightly, with just under 1,450 people hospitalized for coronavirus on Sept. 1, compared with around 1,670 on Aug. 19. But they are still higher than numbers during previous surges of the virus.