Beginning at 4 p.m. today in response to Hurricane Nate, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) will open the State Medical Needs Shelter, located on Coy Avenue in Wiggins.
This facility is a shelter of last resort for those people whose medical needs cannot be accommodated in an evacuation shelter.
Shelter admission is evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Those with health or medical conditions who require professional observation or care,
- Those with chronic conditions who require assistance with daily living activities or skilled nursing care, but do not require hospitalization,
- Those who need supervised medication dispensing or vital signs readings,
- Those with physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities who cannot be housed in an evacuation shelter, or
- Those with other disabilities who cannot be sheltered in an evacuation shelter.
The shelter provides 75 beds for those with medical needs. One caregiver may accompany the resident inside the shelter (unless the patient is a single mother, in which case children may accompany the patient inside the shelter.)
Patients will be triaged and assessed upon entry to the shelter. All residents should bring any prescribed medication or equipment needed for care if possible.
The shelter was built to FEMA 361 standards and should withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour. The shelter contains a negative pressure infectious disease isolation room – the first of its kind in any medical needs shelter in the nation.
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Press Contact: MSDH Office of Communications, (601) 576-7667
Note to media: After hours or during emergencies, call 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948)