Health Officials in Kansas City on High Alert Due to COVID-19 Delta Variant
July 30, 2021
Local health department leaders say the COVID-19 delta variant is present in the Kansas City metro area, but it is not having the same impact on local hospitals as it does in other parts of Missouri. As presented by KSHB in the article COVID-19 Delta Variant Puts Kansas City-Area Health Officials on Alert
, some patients have been transferred from Cox Health in Springfield to St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia, according to Ashley Casad, vice president of clinical services. Due to the rise in patients, Cox Health Center is also looking for extra respiratory therapists.
Mercy Hospital in Springfield has also seen an influx of COVID-19 patients. Because the hospital's staff is caring for so many patients, it has had to add a second Intensive Care Unit. It also ran out of ventilators and had to rely on hospitals in St. Louis, Arkansas, and Oklahoma to provide replacements. Doctors say most of the patients are unvaccinated and come from rural Missouri, these rural communities have always been prioritized by the state, according to a spokeswoman for Kansas.
Both Kansas and Missouri have similar vaccination rates, and the majority of people who test positive for COVID-19 are unvaccinated on both sides of the state line. As the virus continues to mutate, the effort to enhance immunizations continues in both states. Hannah Conner, an epidemiologist with the Wyandotte County Health Department said most of the people who are getting sick, who are hospitalized, who are dying are not vaccinated.
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