Missouri hospital opens 6th COVID-19 unit to meet surge demand

For the first time during the pandemic, Springfield, Mo.-based Mercy Hospital is opening a sixth COVID-19 unit, according to a July 11 tweet from Erik Frederick, the hospital's chief administrative officer. 

On July 11, the hospital was treating 133 COVID-19 patients, according to Mr. Frederick. The hospital is opening its sixth unit to match demand, with Mr. Frederick noting that the hospital only needed five COVID-19 units last year. 

"Many local rural communities don't have high vaccination rates," Mr. Frederick wrote. "They also don't have a hospital. Get sick, come to Springfield. I think that's getting left out of the narrative."

Meanwhile, nearby Springfield-based CoxHealth was treating 119 COVID-19 patients July 11, Steve Edwards, president and CEO, tweeted. This is compared to only 14 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the middle of May.  

COVID-19 hospitalization estimates for the week of July 19 range from 153 to 178 patients for the area, which "is likely well beyond our capability," Mr. Edwards wrote.

"Delta is so highly transmissible, if not vaccinated, you are at tremendous risk," Mr. Edwards concluded.

The two leaders have taken to Twitter in recent days to keep the public updated on the rapidly evolving situation amid the COVID-19 surge. 


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