Information provided by the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC)
The University of Mississippi Medical Center is closely monitoring novel coronavirus cases throughout the world and in the United States.
As of March 5, Mississippi has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan City in China’s Hubei Province in late 2019. Officials say Mississippians remain at low risk for the respiratory illness.
Most acute care hospitals in Mississippi have the facilities necessary to screen, isolate and care for COVID-19 patients. UMMC says the Medical Center currently is not caring for any potential COVID-19 patients. If this changes, they have a highly skilled medical team trained to respond.
In recent weeks, UMMC has taken action to protect patients, their families, and employees including:
- Working hand in hand with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are processes in place to identify who should be screened for COVID-19, as well as answer questions from the public. If testing is needed, patient samples will be forwarded to MSDH.
- A Medical Center leadership team is spearheading preparations and response, and UMMC’s approximately 10,000 employees are being educated on COVID-19 protocol, measures they should take if they have contact with a potential COVID-19 patient, and steps they and the public can take to avoid infection.
- All patients who come to clinics and hospitals will be asked about their travel history and possible or confirmed contact with someone with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Patients at all clinic locations are being asked to use a facemask if they have a fever and cough.
Remember, the influenza season remains very active in Mississippi, and Medical Center infectious diseases specialists say that’s the immediate threat to residents. Anyone who has not been immunized against the flu is urged to do so.