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CoxHealth diverts COVID-19 patients to St. Louis and Kansas City for treatment

23 patients so far have been sent elsewhere for treatment
Nurse who treated first confirmed COVID patient reflects back on experience, challenges
Nurse who treated first confirmed COVID patient reflects back on experience, challenges(Gray)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - We first told you Monday CoxHealth sent four COVID-19 patients to the Saint Louis area. The hospital system confirms it has diverted 23 patients to other hospitals in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Staff at Cox South Hospital initially treated 14 of those patients. On Tuesday evening, the hospital is not diverting COVID-19 patients to other facilities. Instead, the system accepted two transfers from non-CoxHealth facilities earlier on Tuesday June 29.

But the diversion status can frequently change depending on COVID-19 patient load.

The hospital did warn the community about this possibility earlier this month after hospitalizations started to surge once again.

The system posted this on June 18:

“We are dedicated to caring for all patients in the safest fashion possible. Given that other large cities in Missouri are not surging, their hospitals may have sufficient capacity and be able to help us care for our community in this surge, which is associated with the Delta variant.

Many factors are different today than they were a few months ago. During the last COVID-19 surge, CoxHealth employees were joined by hundreds of traveling nurses and respiratory therapists who were dedicated to caring for COVID-19 patients. Unfortunately, there now is a limited number of those individuals available. This reality is compounded by the fact that COVID-19 patients take a great deal of concentrated attention and specific expertise, requiring more staffing than other units.

We are committed to not scaling back our services, nor compromising our standard of care, which leads us to consider divert status at this time.”

Meantime, BJC HealthCare in St. Louis told us, it is treating 19 patients from outside the St. Louis region, including four from the Springfield area.”

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