Emergency Room traffic increases, CoxHealth officials blame COVID-19

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — After the Springfield mask mandate was canceled, CoxHealth said there has been a big increase in Emergency Room traffic.

Doctor Howard Jarvis, the medical director of the emergency departments at CoxHealth, said hospital staff had to increase hours again and work overtime to take care of the community.

“A lot of the really serious illnesses of the past, we have largely eradicated because of our ability to get vaccinations over the years,” said Jarvis. “We don’t see people with polio, we don’t see people with measles or rubella, or birth defects or brain damage.”

Jarvis said there is one easy way to help the system.

“People don’t realize how effective the vaccine really is, the vaccines that are out there, they’re really effective,” said Jarvis. “The people that we’re seeing that are sick in the emergency department and then the numbers we’re having to admit to the hospital, virtually none of them have been vaccinated.”

The new variants are affecting more young people now.

“We continue to encourage patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19, that’s one of the quickest ways we can decrease the demand on our health systems,” said Amanda Hedgepeth, the vice president of hospital operations in CoxHealth.

Health professionals said it’s always good to have a primary doctor, especially when you don’t have any health concerns.

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