CoxHealth treating record number of COVID-19 patients; other healthcare providers also preparing for more patients

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:43 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - CoxHealth reached a new record of COVID-19 patients Sunday, treating 187 people across its sites.

For the second straight day, CoxHealth is treating 187 patients, according to CEO Steve Edwards. The health system reported a record of 170 in winter before COVID-19 vaccines were widely available.

As CoxHealth’s hospitalizations rise, other healthcare providers around southwest Missouri have seen COVID-19 testing and hospitalizations increase.

“We are at our highest level of testing since the fall,” said Matthew Stinson, Executive Vice President Jordan Valley Community Health Center .

“Our hospitalizations have been high, higher than they were in the spring,” said Michael Calhoun COO Citizens Memorial Hospital.

Between Mercy’s regional and Springfield hospitals, 161 patients are currently receiving treatment. While that is slightly less than Mercy’s previous record of 165, some hospitalized patients are having more serious complications.

“What we’re seeing today is 147 that have been admitted for COVID-19. Nineteen of them are beyond what is considered their infectious period, but continue to be hospitalized for COVID-19 related complications,” said Mercy COO Brent Hubbard.

In the last 30 days, 17% of Mercy’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have resulted in death. As the delta variant becomes more prevalent, healthcare providers are preparing to care for even more patients.

“Over the next month, we’ll continue to layer in additional staff, both RN’s and respiratory therapists, to provide for the need,” said Hubbard.

“We have posted some internal positions for even part-time nurses to help with this need right now. We have not pulled the trigger on traveling nurses right now, but I could see that if this continues that we might need to,” said Stinson.

“That’s a limiting factor that we have right now, the staff to take care of the patients. We have a whole plan around how we would modify our staffing to be able to take care of inpatients if we surge beyond our capacity,” said Calhoun.

Healthcare providers continue to encourage people to get vaccinated. Health officials say that one study showed that those who are fully vaccinated are significantly less likely to be hospitalized.

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