Hospitalizations surge at Cox South and officials warn COVID-19 patients could be diverted to other facilities


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Cox South announced because of surging hospitalizations, the hospital may soon have to start diverting some COVID-19 patients to other facilities throughout the state.

Currently, there are 79 inpatients with COVID-19, which is more than a five-fold increase from less than a month ago. The hospital is also experiencing an especially high census of more traditional summer and surgical patients.

“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,” said Cox Health in a Facebook post Friday.

Cox South explained many factors are different 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. However, there is now a limited number of those individuals that are available. COVID-19 patients also take a great deal of concentrated attention and specific expertise, requiring more staffing than the other units.

Cox South may soon need to divert patients to facilities that have more capacity such as Kansas City or St. Louis.

If projections prove true, the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations will continue to increase in the coming weeks.

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