Springfield health leaders explain recent rise in COVID-19 patients, urge vaccinations

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – COVID-19 cases are up in Missouri, with a rolling average of 300 new cases per day.

In response, Springfield’s CoxHealth reopened its COVID-19 ICU unit after nine infected patients were admitted to the hospital Thursday.

“As we enter into the weekend we want to be prepared for potential growth,” said CoxHealth President Steve Edwards.

Health leaders say four people who are being treated in the COVID-19 ward are from the Branson area.

”It’s a couple of weeks after spring break, so we were kind of expecting that to happen. People are beginning to get out more into the community, so we will naturally see an increase in case, and we’re not fully vaccinated. We haven’t achieved heard immunity yet,” said Kara Miller with the Taney County Health Department.

”When we see that mask ordinances are eased, it gives us a sense that that’s a factor. Also, tourism and more people that are traveling, People out and about those are risk factors too,” said Edwards.

Cox Health doctors these new patients waited to seek care.

”The demographic has changed and the people who are coming into the hospital now have been sick for days or weeks, so they present late and there’s not a lot we can do at that point. So were seeing patient struggle and having a worse outcome because of the fact that they presented late,” said Dr. Robin Trotman infectious disease physician at CoxHealth.

Mercy is also seeing more COVID-19 patients.

”We have seen an increase in hospitalizations from last week. We had seven today, we have 14.″ said Mercy President Brent Hubbard.

That includes a person who was fully vaccinated.

“With the efficacy rate of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines being at 95-96%, we would expect there to be some positive cases,” said Hubbard.

Health officials say that vaccines are the only way to prevent hospitalizations of COVID-19.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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