SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Health experts in the area are noticing a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases. 

“Our admissions are still staying in the low teens, somewhere in the range from 15 to 18 patients in the hospital,” Dr. Gregory Ledger with Mercy Springfield said. “Right now, we have 12 admitted and three in emergency room.” 

The Chief Medical Officer adds nearly half the patients they have are over 80 and some are in their 40s and 50s. 

CoxHealth, another major healthcare provider tells OzarksFirst they are not seeing a significant rise in case. 

Dr. Ledge says it’s not just COVID-19 cases that can surge as temperatures drop.  

“Right now, the prediction is that we’ll see a surge and they sort of referring to it as the triple pandemic, where we’ll see increase in COVID cases, increase in flu and increase in RSV,” Dr. Ledger said. “[It’s] sort of looking at what they saw in the southern hemisphere, which is coming out of it, which is Australia and New Zealand area.” 

The potential surge of any communicable disease is on the radar of Springfield Public Schools. 

“We anticipate that with groups going all in same rooms and during the winter months, that that potential could be there,” Lee Ann Neill, the director of Health Services for SPS said.  

SPS, at this time, doesn’t keep track of COVID-19 cases specifically but they’re following policies to help keep students and staff safe if case numbers were to ramp up in the area.  

“We monitor our illness trends daily,” Neill said. “Across the district, I get a report, my coordinator gets a report. The school nurses are monitoring daily as far as what they’re seeing in the school setting.” 

Neill and Ledger both say staying up-to-date on shots can help this season.   

“Stay up to date on your vaccines. Keep your kids home if you’re sick, [then] they’re sick,” Neill said. 

“We recommend everybody get the flu and COVID booster,” Dr. Ledger said. “If you’re over age 60, get the RSV. If you’re sick, stay home and wash your hands and avoid touching your face.”