SOUTHWEST, MO – A quote, “Tremendous amount of death” in relation to COVID-19.

Grim words from a local hospital CEO, but there is some hopeful news.

CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards says the hospital system has 169 COVID-19 patients right now. 16 are in Branson, 6 are in Monett, 4 are in Barton County, and the remaining 143 are in Springfield.

38 people have died from COVID-19 at CoxHealth since just last Tuesday, they’re averaging 4 to 6 deaths a day.

And a reminder, patients are quite young.

51 patients under 50 years old, 28 are under the age of 40, and 3 are children in the hospital with COVID-19.

To put it in perspective, there were 4 pediatric patients admitted in the March to April timeframe.

Then, in June and July, there were 28 pediatric COVID-19 patients.

The good news is that the hospital is seeing lower “new case” counts, something hospital leaders are hopeful about.

The COVID-19 vaccine is still highly recommended to keep patients out of the hospital and prevent depleting hospital resources.

“There’s a pretty simple solution to this and that’s the vaccine. We sure wish we could convince more people on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine because we think our hospital would probably have somewhere likely less than 169 patients in it right now.” Says Steve Edwards, President & CEO of CoxHealth.

Edwards clarifies he knows 6 people who were vaccinated that died at CoxHealth in June and July due to COVID-19.

Without disclosing their private information, he says those patients had major underlying health conditions and the vaccine couldn’t help their immune systems muster up a response once infected.