Missouri hospitals faced a shortage of ventilators over Independence Day weekend amid a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Springfield, a city of 160,000, experienced a 27 percent increase in hospitalizations, possibly the result of low immunization and the spread of the latest Delta variant. Less than half of Missouri’s population is vaccinated and the state has the highest number of new cases per capita in the past two weeks.
On Friday, the city’s two largest hospitals were treating 168 COVID-19 positive patients, that number jumped to 213 by Monday. The shortage of ventilators led hospitals to borrow equipment before another patient arrived. “After what we’ve seen in the last month everyone is just holding their breath, especially after a holiday weekend like this, knowing that there were large gatherings,” said Erik Frederick, Mercy Springfield’s chief administrative officer.
Experts hope to increase vaccination rates by granting COVID-19 full FDA authorization. However, polls suggest those who are not inoculated will not do so upon FDA approval. Last month, White House Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed the new Delta variant of the coronavirus is the “greatest threat” to America’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The variant now makes up over 20 percent of COVID-19 cases in the states.
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WATERLOO-CEDAR FALLS COURIER
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