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Missouri sends ambulances, personnel and other helpers to Springfield as COVID wave worsens

Missouri officials send ambulances, personnel and other helpers to Springfield and Greene County as southwestern Missouri continues to face attack of COVID-19 cases brought on by the aggressive Delta variant Governor Mike Parson announced Thursday.

But they sent the Federal Emergency Management Agency a request for an “alternative care site” to relieve pressure on local hospitals.

“We will continue to do all we can to support the Springfield area and surrounding communities as we experience this increased spread of COVID-19,” Parson said in a press release.

Springfield and Greene County health and emergency management officials made the request on July 14 as the influx of COVID patients flooded local hospitals. Thirty-five percent of the county’s residents have been fully immunized, less than the state’s 40 percent.

Local authorities had to resubmit the request for the alternative care site on Monday. They want to convert a local hotel into a medical facility to treat less severe patients, according to Parson’s press release, freeing up hospital beds for those who are sicker.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department spokesperson Aaron Schekorra said officials there “hope to continue working with SEMA. [the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency] and FEMA to bring this resource to Southwest Missouri soon to provide much needed support to our healthcare workers. “

Springfield’s CoxHealth and Mercy hospitals had 310 COVID hospital patients as of Thursday, according to their executives. Greene County officials said earlier this week that the number of COVID cases in the county rose 22% from the previous week.

CoxHealth’s public relations department on Monday took the rare step of posting photographs of overwhelmed staff inside one of the hospital’s COVID intensive care units in hopes of urging the public to do so. vaccinate. They show health workers wrapped in white overalls, beds separated by makeshift partitions, and a “Do not resuscitate” sign on a bed.

Missouri officials contract with the Arkansas Emergency Management Division to send “emergency response teams” in the form of 10 advanced resuscitation ambulances, 20 medical personnel, two chiefs of staff. response team and logistics specialist in Greene County for two weeks to transport COVID patients.

The state is also sending staff and equipment to help local clinics set up a monoclonal antibody treatment center, where COVID-positive patients at high risk of serious illness or in hospital can receive protein infusions that help them. body to fight the virus.

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