SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Governor Parson announced on Thursday, July 22nd, that Greene County is set to receive additional personnel and equipment to help fight against COVID-19.
“We are thankful for these medical professionals and the assistance they will provide in Southwest Missouri. We will continue to do all we can to support the Springfield area and surrounding communities as we experience this increase in COVID-19 spread,” said Governor Parson.
Ambulance strike teams will arrive on Friday, July 23rd, to assist hospitals in the Greene County area.
“The delta variant is ravaging our county right now. Not just ours but others in Southwest Missouri,” Immunologist and President-Elect GCMS Dr. Minh-Thu Le said.
The city asked for help from the state on July 14. The request asked for more personnel and equipment to combat the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“We’re all putting in the hours we need to take care of our community and our patients,” Mercy Executive Director of EMS Bob Patterson said.
The teams include ten advanced life support ambulances, 20 medical personnel, two strike-team leaders, and one logistics specialist. These teams will remain in Missouri for two weeks to help transport COVID-19 patients.
“For our EMS team we are seeing a significant increase in call volume in emergency 9-11 call volume,” Patterson said. “Strike teams are really going to help us with is those longer distance inter-facility hospital transfers. You know St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, that take our teams out of the community for a long period of time. This will allow us to keep our focus on the ground in their services areas taking care of those 911 calls.”
Mercy hospital tweeted out Thursday only 5 percent of its patients with COVID are fully vaccinated. Local leaders are asking for help from the community as well.
“We need at least 70 percent of our community vaccinated,” Le said. “With the delta variant that should be actually closer to 85 percent because it’s so infectious.”
In addition, the Missouri Disaster Medical Assistance Team is providing equipment and personnel and working with Jordan Valley Health Center and other health care facilities in the area to support a Monoclonal Antibody Centralized Infusion Center.
This center will help recently diagnosed high-risk COVID-19 patients by giving them specialized antibodies to help prevent severe disease and lower the risk of hospitalization.
The center should be ready to receive patients for therapy treatments Friday, July 23rd. A large effort to get Springfield back on track, with the hopes of decompressing the hospitals.
“I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you when things are going to get better,” Patterson said. “We hope that’s sooner than later. But we know that the teams are committed to staying in place and assisting us for that long haul if we need it.”