JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Missouri, Governor Mike Parson said the health care system meets the demand, with nearly half the state’s hospital beds still open.
Just days before the election, Parson held his weekly COVID virtual press conference on Thursday with the state’s daily average of COVID cases up more than 100 cases a day over last week. He assured Missourians during the briefing the health care system is doing okay.
“Of Missouri’s 22,000 hospital beds, 49% nearly, are still available,” Parson said. “I want to assure you that overall, our health care system is still meeting the demand.”
Parson said nearly 70% of the state’s ventilators are still available but also said hospitals are in more urban areas are seeing more patients from rural areas adding additional stress
“For hospitalizations, our seven-day average is roughly 1,400,” Parson said. “Places like Springfield are seeing a lot of patients transferred in from smaller hospitals and surrounding communities, putting additional stress on systems like Cox.”
The governor said the state needs to give small hospitals the tools they need for the virus.
“During our meeting, we talked about empowering rural hospitals and equipping them with the tools to care for more than COVID-19 patients,” Parson said.
Machines to test the salvia-based COVID test are now in three cities across the state, Parson said. Testing machines are in Kansas City, Springfield, and St. Louis at Washington University, where the test was founded. Parson said machines should soon be in central and southeast Missouri.
Parson, who is up for re-election Tuesday against State Auditor Nicole Galloway, reminded Missourians to get out and vote.
“I want to assure that our county clerks, poll workers, and local election officials are taking every precaution possible to make sure that Missourians can safely cast their vote,” Parson said.