Many people have been hospitalized because of COVID-19 recently this year

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JOPLIN, MO – One death a day due to COVID-19, representatives with Freeman Health System say that’s their average over the last few weeks.

Staff are seeing what many other hospitals around the nation are seeing, much younger patients who are sicker than we saw earlier in the pandemic

More than 50 people are currently hospitalized at Freeman Health System.

The city of Joplin COVID-19 dashboard indicates 95 people hospitalized among all of Joplin’s hospital systems.

A Freeman employee also stood at the podium today to share his experience about losing his niece to COVID-19 earlier this week.

Melissa Osborne, a Neosho School District staff member, she was only 40 years old.

Hospital leaders continue pointing to the vaccine as the main way to fight this illness.

“I want to underscore that the vast majority of hospitalized patients and those who do die from COVID are the unvaccinated patients.” Says Paula Baker, Freeman Health System President & CEO.

“It has opened our eyes as a family to get the vaccine. You don’t think that it hits close to home until it hits your family.” Says Todd Markovich, Freeman Health System Employee.

Markovich says he got the first dose of his vaccine after his niece went downhill so quickly.

Local health officials are also encouraging people to wear masks and wash their hands to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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