SOUTHWEST, MO – The Delta Variant has caused COVID-19 cases to surge throughout Southwest Missouri.
Much like other health systems, CoxHealth is seeing it firsthand.
In the middle of May, the health system was serving 14 COVID-19 patients. Today, it’s serving 163.
Now it’s working to try and subvert this wave and make sure it can serve as more are expected over the coming weeks.
“We do have COVID patients in every one of our hospitals right now. That is approaching a record number.” Says Steve Edwards, CoxHealth President & CEO.
Unfortunately, officials at CoxHealth think their COVID-19 cases will only continue to grow.
“Our forecast shows us a peak perhaps as high as 230.” Says Edwards.
With a need to be met, CoxHealth hopes to start expanding their resources to house those incoming patients.
“Our anticipating, being able to handle 180 patients by the middle of next week and 230 COVID new patients by the middle of August.” Says Edwards.
New initiatives are being worked on.
From moving physicians around to areas in need, to establishing new COVID-19 care units for vulnerable populations.
“The homeless population becomes more vulnerable and a risk of spread in that population increases, there’s a hope that finding resources to house homeless who are affected so we don’t have large outbreaks.” Says Edwards.
One of their projects is anticipated to start running soon.
“There’s a possibility that by Friday, that Jordan Valley could have up and running an infusion center that could support up to 15 patients.” Says Edwards.
Warning other areas in the country about a potentially difficult road ahead.
“Southwest Missouri is not unique, this will happen in large swabs of the United States, it just happened here first, so we feel this duty to share what we’ve learned, to be a harbinger, a warning to people to understand this is coming.” Says Edwards.
Edwards says Missouri Legislation has been a huge help.
A new waiver for respiratory therapists has been established.
This way, even if those therapists don’t have a Missouri license, they can still practice in the state.