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Hospitals weigh in on the recent COVID-19 case increase

Coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Hospitals are concerned about where Springfield stands with the sudden outbreak of cases of COVID-19 around the region.

Taney County Health Department director Lisa Marshall talked about their 43 confirmed cases on June 25.

“We are seeing our case numbers increase, and our active cases are increasing,” said Marshall. “One of the things that we’re also seeing is we’re having a large number of exposures.”

Marshall says individuals were not wearing a mask in two of the three recent public exposures.

“We think face coverings are very important right now,” said Marshall. “We think they are so important that our board just passed a resolution to pronounce the importance of face coverings in indoor public spaces.”

Two COVID-19 patients in Branson are being transferred to CoxHealth in Springfield on June 26.

“We had 13 positives yesterday, so far, today, we’re at 16 positive cases,” said Amanda Hedgpeth, vice president of Hospital Operations at CoxHealth. “That’s nearing a nine percent prevalence rate meaning nine percent of those symptomatic patients that get tested ultimately test positive.”

Hedgpeth says they have had a significant increase from where the hospital’s positive case amount was a month ago.

“That positivity rate was closer to 3%,” said Hedgpeth. “Twelve to thirteen percent of patients that test positive ultimately need some sort of hospitalized care.”

CoxHealth, according to Hedgpeth, has eight COVID-19 patients, two are in critical condition.

“I think there’s a couple of misconceptions that only elderly needs hospitalized,” said Hedgpeth. “80% of our hospitalized patients are under the age of 61. Those that are younger can get sick enough and need hospitalized care.”

Mercy is also seeing a jump in confirmed COVID-19 cases.

“I think that this is not surprising with the way the epidemic is unfolding across the nation,” said Dr. Will Sistrunk, head of Mercy Infection Prevention at Mercy Hospital. “We all need to be more vigilant as far as if you are symptomatic; then you do need to try to stay away from others.”

Sistrunk says if you travel this summer, stay away from people as much as possible, wear a mask and wash your hands.

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