An early and active flu season along with an uptick in COVID-19 cases are creating stress for Mississippi’s hospitals. State Health Officer Dr. Dan Edney says the availability of ICU beds is dropping, especially at the hospitals which offer advanced care. He says some patients are having to be transferred out of state. But even that’s becoming a problem, with Tennessee and Alabama now refusing to take patients from Mississippi because their hospitals are becoming swamped. Edney says Mississippians who got a COVID shot months ago may think they’re still protected but he’s urging them to get the bivalent booster if they haven’t done so already. State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says it’s important to be up to date on our vaccinations to keep from spreading COVID and the flu to our families and friends during the holidays.