SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – CoxHealth in Springfield shares new COVID-19 numbers and how the new delta variant may play out in the Ozarks.
Nearly a quarter of all patients at CoxHealth in Springfield are COVID-19 patients, and about 175 COVID-19 patients are in the hospital currently.
The number of COVID-19 inpatients is slightly lower this week, partially because of 14 deaths reported between Friday and Monday.
The hospital president expects the area to hit a peak soon due to vaccinations and temporary immunity.
“Some theorize that as rapidly as the spike goes up, it might go down, but we’re not counting on that. We’re preparing for the numbers to keep growing, but hoping they don’t,” says Steve Edwards, President, and CEO at CoxHealth Springfield.
President Steve Edwards also reported that the hospital’s COVID-19 ICU patients only have a 60 percent survival rate.
“We care for all people, but when it’s someone that’s 90, it feels different than someone that’s 40. Someone that comes in with tan lines from being at the lake, and now they’re on a ventilator,” says Edwards.
He added that the most alarming part of the delta variant is the infection rate.
“With this variant, if it might be as high as 9, six generations of that is approaching 60,000. I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, I didn’t get it the first time so, I think I’ll be fine.’ I think the lesson is if you didn’t get it the first time, you’re going to get it this time,” says Edwards.
Edwards says the one benefit of being at the epicenter of the delta variant is the early and fast access to staff and equipment.
“Cause we’ve been able to secure resources when there’s been less competition for resources. Now hospitals are scrambling for support. I don’t think they’ll be able to find many travelers because the demand for them is so high right now,” says Edwards.
CoxHealth is still preparing to reach 220 patients in August.
“And part of our thinking is is if we get through this peak, we still want to be prepared because other communities took care of our community. And we’d like to do the same for them if we must because we owe it to the rest of the state,” says Edwards.
The hospital has brought in an additional 250 staff members but says it is not enough. Another 30 traveling nurses and seven emergency-based physicians are now on their way to Springfield.