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COVID-19 update from Highland's Bryan Maxie stresses 'shelter in place'

On Monday morning, Highland Community Hospital Chief Administrative Officer Bryan Maxie provided an update on COVID-19 on WRJW News Focus program and said the current numbers and situation are worse today than was anticipated weeks ago.

“On March 15, there were two cases in Pearl River County and ten cases statewide. Now we have 27 cases in the county and 758 in the state with 14 deaths, all of that changed in a two week time period. That’s pretty drastic numbers,” Maxie explained.

“What can we do to ‘flatten that curve’ as individuals? The number one thing here in our county, in our state, and the surrounding areas is ‘shelter in place’. The percentage of people who shelter in place greatly affects the number of people we can take care of.”

Flatten the curve refers to community isolation measures that keep the daily number of disease cases at a manageable level for medical providers.

Maxie says everyday we all see people not adhering to shelter in place order and they are impacting lives by not following the guideline. He added that if people don’t change and do more shelter in place than they are doing today, in about 7 to 14 days, we are going to see maximum potential of the healthcare reached like it has in Louisiana.

Maxie explain exactly what it means for someone to practice shelter in place.

“Don’t take families to the grocery store, limit the number of trips to the grocery store, and consolidate your orders within your family. Send one person to get the groceries,” he said.

Maxie said you’ll see people pull up the grocery store with a carload of kids and multiple family members, but he is asking people not to do that.

Maxie asked the grocery stores to be more strict on their own and only allow so many people in the stores at a time. He suggested to set a number and let one shopper come in as one shopper leaves the store as a way to keep people away from crowds. To all retailers that are allowed to stay open during the pandemic, Maxie urges them to use common sense.

Another example was outdoor activities.

“Don’t meet up with people for Bar B Qs, crawfish boils, and like events. You don’t know who might be carrying this virus,” Maxie stated.

“The thing with this virus (COVID-19) is that “it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Everyone that has had it have shown some symptons that are similar and symptons that have been different. We’ve got to the point we can almost look at a person when they walked through the doors and know if they have it or not by the way they look.”

Maxie applauded the city and county officials for what they are doing and we need to do more than the state is requiring us to do. He said the state should be a little tougher on what people can and can’t do like the other surrounding states.

Maxie reiterated that people must shelter in place more if we truly want to flatten the curve, but if they don’t’, the medical facilities will be put in a situation of not having the capacity to treat people with the COVID-19 virus.

“A lot of people think they are bullet proof and immune to all of this. When they wake up one day and it’s a family member with it, they are going to realize they should have listened to the warnings and done what was asked,” Maxie stated.

Maxie said the forecasting models they are using are showing only 10 percent of people are adhering to the shelter in place. He said what people don’t realize that they could be carrying the virus, exposing others, and not be aware until they themselves become ill.

Maxie challenged the residents of Pearl River County to adhere to the requests for shelter in place.

“If you don’t think you can do it, then live somewhere else. We are trying to save lives here in Pearl River County and trying to flatten this curve.”



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