OCH Regional Medical Center is treating its first inpatient who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The test was performed at a clinic Wednesday and the results came back early Saturday morning. The patient was admitted through the emergency room Friday after experiencing shortness of breath.

“We’ve been graced with time to train our staff to care specifically for COVID-19 patients,” said OCH Disaster Preparedness Officer Wes Andrews, RRT. “Following strict guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, protocols are in place to provide proper care for COVID-19 patients in a safe environment for the patients and our employees.”

The patient has been placed in an isolation room, and the staff is following all personal protection equipment protocol put in place by the CDC.

OCH Pulmonologist and Critical Care Specialist Dr. Cameron Huxford said the case appears to be community spread and that the patient’s condition is considered stable.

“This individual reports only leaving the house for essential shopping. This emphasizes the importance of the ‘shelter in place’ order. Do not get out unless it’s necessary, and offer to pick up essentials for those you know who are elderly or have a condition that puts them at a higher risk for contracting the virus,” said Dr. Huxford.

“I would like to thank our staff who has been working hard behind the scenes for months to prepare our hospital to provide care for patients with COVID-19 in a safe environment,” said OCH Administrator/CEO Jim Jackson. “The leadership and teamwork that has been demonstrated throughout this event is to be commended.”

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health there are currently 1,455 confirmed cases, with 24 of those cases in Oktibbeha County. The latest numbers from MSDH show a total of 35 deaths related to COVID-19. No deaths have been reported in Oktibbeha County.

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