SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Starting this week, CoxHealth has announced that the healthcare facility will be rescheduling some appointments due to rising COVID-19 cases.

The official Facebook page for CoxHealth Springfield states that wellness and routine appointments made within the next 30-45 days could be rescheduled.

“These new appointments will help primary care physicians support CoxHealth’s urgent care facilities, which are currently operating beyond capacity. In recent weeks, we have served more than 700 patients per day in our urgent cares, up from 350-400 daily visits at this time last year.”

Cox says that rescheduling these appointments allows primary care physicians to add appointment times to treat patients who need emergency care.

Cox is urging patients to make appointments with their primary care physician, instead of using urgent care, and reminds patients that they can use the healthcare provider’s virtual visit service anytime.

Mercy Hospital; is having similar problems with an unusually high influx of patients due to COVID-19.

Dr. Laura Waters with Mercy HealthTracks Pediatrics adds in a Facebook post that while policies have changed to allow 2 parents to accompany children to appointments, the added busyness may mean longer wait times for patients over the phone.

“We’re doing our best, please be patient. If you need an answer same day, your best option is a phone call, MyMercy messages may not be answered same day,” writes Dr. Waters.

Jefferson City Bureau reporter Emily Manley tweeted that after speaking with the Missouri Hospital Association, she discovered that Missouri has set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, reaching 3,202 as of January 7.

In the past week, there have been 53,000 new cases in Missouri.

According to a spokesperson for the Missouri Hospital Association, Dave Dillion, “We are 113% of the prior peak.”