Freeman Health System is expecting COVID-19 numbers to go up after the holiday weekend

Regional News

JOPLIN, Mo. – The holiday weekend has come to a close, but that means hospital officials are concerned for what’s to come.

Freeman Health System officials say they are prepared for an increase in COVID-19 numbers.

Time will tell if more action needs to take place. Now that the holiday weekend is over, hospital workers are getting ready for a surge in COVID-19 numbers. But they won’t know the exact numbers for nearly two more weeks.

“Most of the time if we are going to see a surge, we see it seven to 10 days after a major holiday, and we anticipate the possibility of that after the Fourth of July.” Says Jessica Liberty, Freeman Infection Prev. Mgr.

Currently Freeman Health System has 51 COVID-19 hospitalizations, while Mercy Hospital Joplin has 48. Just four of those are fully vaccinated. But unlike in the past, many of the people coming in are different ages.

“We are seeing admissions pretty heavy since the Fourth of July, and we’ve seen several people that are significantly younger by comparison to the previous last several months.” Says Liberty.

Although hospitalizations are up, so are vaccinations. This is both partially due to people getting ready to go back to school, and the knowledge of new strains.

“We have seen some of the variant strains present in the community, more specifically the Delta and Brazilian, most people have heard of both of those, those are both very present in our community.” Says Liberty.

While the new strains are current in the community, Liberty adds they’re prepared to serve the people.

“We anticipate continuing to meet the needs, whatever the need is present, and so if we are to have a surge we would adjust and adapt to whatever we’re seeing.” Says Liberty.

That adapting includes needed supplies, beds, nurses, and more. While it hasn’t come to this yet, the hospitals are prepared to send patients to other facilities if need be.

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