Mississippi and Arkansas face shortages of available intensive care beds as the delta variant sparks yet another surge in coronavirus cases around the country.Only six ICU beds for severely ill patients were available across all of Mississippi as of Wednesday morning, said Dr. Jonathan Wilson, chief administrative officer at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.Health officials are coordinating to transfer patients when possible to alleviate some of the strain on hospitals. Intensive care patients include not only those afflicted with Covid-19 but also those who suffer from traditional health issues, such as heart attacks and strokes.“We are at the cusp of this. We know that we aren’t at the crest of this wave,” Wilson said Wednesday. “It’s bad, but it’s probably going to get a little worse.”Only about 35 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, according to state data.Arkansas, which shares a border with Mississippi, reported that only 25 ICU beds were open as of Wednesday, according to NBC affiliate KARK of Little Rock. About 42 percent of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated, according to the state Health Department.Allison Moore, an intensive care nurse, helps a Covid-19 patient at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.Joe Ellis

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