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More than 100 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Mercy Springfield, CoxHealth facilities

Frontline workers in our local hospitals have been keeping busy. Both CoxHealth and Mercy...
Frontline workers in our local hospitals have been keeping busy. Both CoxHealth and Mercy Hospital report a big increase in Coronavirus patients.(KY3)
Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 8:37 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2020 at 8:44 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - More than 100 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 at Mercy Springfield and CoxHealth facilities around the Ozarks region as of Sunday, Nov. 22.

Erik Frederick, the Chief Administrative Officer of Mercy Springfield, and Steve Edwards, the CEO and President of CoxHealth, both shared updates on COVID-19 hospitalizations to Twitter on Sunday.

In a news briefing Friday, health leaders said local hospitals are overwhelmed with surges of COVID-19 patients. Officials say space is limited and staff members are stressed.

Wanda Brown, a registered nurse from Mercy, explained the harsh reality inside the walls of the hospital during the news briefing Friday. She said beds cannot be available for patients unless staff is there to care for them, and right now, beds are already full because of COVID-19. That means patients with other health conditions could see the effects of a strained system.

“I know we have all heard statements made of how hospitals are not overwhelmed and our ICUs are not full. This is untrue. It is misleading. I think it provides a false sense of security for our community,” Brown said.

Dr. Shawn Usery, with CoxHealth, said hospitals could be required to make tough decisions.

“As our hospitals fill up and take more and more beds with COVID patients, that necessarily pushes out other patients,” Usery said.

Usery said CoxHealth will add nearly 150 beds in the next few weeks, which is equivalent to a mid-sized hospital. However, he said, he needs more staff to care for the patients who fill that added space.

As of Sunday, Greene County has reported 13,490 cases of COVID-19. Among those, more than 2,700 are considered active cases and 215 patients are hospitalized.

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