WINONA – As of mid-day Tuesday, the Mississippi Department of Health is reporting that there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County. However, according to officials at Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital, a total of five tests for coronavirus performed at Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital have come back positive for the virus.
According to Cori Bailey, chief operating officer at Tyler Holmes, the hospital staff has conducted 26 tests for coronavirus on its Winona campus from the start of the crisis through Monday, and five of those tests were returned as positive. One test is still pending results.
Cori Bailey, chief operating officer for Tyler Holmes, said she wanted to clarify any misinformation regarding the virus in Montgomery County.
“There have not been thousands of tests conducted at Tyler Holmes,” Bailey said. “There have been 26 tests performed and five positives."
Bailey encouraged residents to visit the Mississippi Department of Health’s website, mshd.ms.gov, for the most up-to-date numbers because not all of those tested at Tyler Holmes live in Montgomery County, but in surrounding counties.
“It is my understanding that [the Department of Health’s reports] are based on where a patient lives,” Bailey said. “Due to privacy laws, we can’t give out anything other than the number of tests and the number of tests that come back positive."
Bailey said the number of cases and tests performed is changing daily due to continued testing of the coronavirus, however, turnaround for test results has been timelier in recent days. Bailey said the current turnaround time for test results is now 24-48 hours compared to around three days when testing began in Mississippi.
Friday, Tyler Holmes issued an administrative order banning visitors from the hospital as a precaution to its patients and its staff.
The order stated: “Beginning Saturday, March 21st at 12:00 p.m. No visitors will be allowed into the hospital. This is in response to the guidelines issued by the CDC and the MS State Dept. Of Health. We must take every precaution to ensure the safest and healthiest environment for our patients and staff. We will continue to care for our patients and make a sincere effort to accommodate each family with information, face time, and phone calls with their loved ones. This is being done in an effort to protect our patients and secure a healthy environment for them. We want to thank you all in advance for your understanding and patience in this matter.”
Bailey reminded those who are symptomatic for coronavirus to contact their general practitioner or call ahead before visiting the emergency room. This will allow the hospital staff to make arrangements to prevent exposure to other patients and staff.
For the most up-to-date numbers of Mississippians infected with the coronavirus, visit msdh.ms.gov or call the Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline at 877-978-6453.