Missouri sends more ambulances to carry COVID-19 cases
Thirty ambulances and more than 60 medical staff will be stationed statewide to help transport COVID-19 patients to other areas if nearby hospitals are too full to admit them, the governor of the United States said on Friday. Missouri Mike Parson.
Parson said mutual aid ambulances will begin arriving in five districts across the state on Friday and will operate wherever needed until September 5.
The state sent ambulances from Arkansas to Springfield in mid-July when that region began to suffer from new cases of COVID-19 caused by the delta variant.
“These 30 new ambulance teams are tripling our transport capacity and expanding it statewide as needed,” Parson said in a statement. “Our healthcare professionals are acting heroically to save lives as the Delta variant dramatically increases hospitalizations. We will continue to support our healthcare heroes across the state.”
The move comes as Missouri reported a seven-day average of 2,069 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest number since Jan. 12, when the seven-day average was 2,348, according to data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior. Services.
Ambulance strike teams funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are expected to start transporting patients as early as Saturday. The teams will initially be positioned in Kansas City and northeast, southwest, south-central and northwestern Missouri.
Several chief medical officers at the Kansas City area hospitals said in a video conference with area officials on Friday that hospitals were reaching capacity and had had to divert patients several times in recent weeks. They also said they were having staffing issues as employees either have COVID-19 or are quarantined due to close contact.
Chief medical officers have urged people to resume wearing masks and getting vaccinated, noting that a large majority of new COVID-19 patients are not vaccinated.
For example, Darryl Nelson, chief medical officer of HCA Health Midwest, which has seven hospitals in the Kansas City area, said on Friday the system had 145 patients with COVID-19, including 46 in intensive care. Hospitals are currently at 94% of their capacity.
He said 3% to 8% of these patients are vaccinated “and that continues to be a story about the unvaccinated population seeking care and certainly in need of a higher standard of care in our institutions.”
Dr Steven Stites, chief medical officer of the University of Kansas health system, said hospitals in the area were struggling as the rise in COVID-19 cases comes on top of an influx of patients who had postponed treatment during previous peaks in coronavirus numbers.
The Kansas City, Kansas hospital had to turn down about 500 of 1,500 transfer requests from other hospitals in July, he said.
“It’s safe to say your hospitals are on the verge of a real crisis here,” Stites said, “because we don’t have a lot more beds to give with this growing number of COVID patients that we are seeing.”
Also on Friday, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and his staff were tested for COVID-19 after an employee tested positive for the disease. His spokesperson, Nick Dunne, said the employee informed the mayor’s office on Thursday evening after learning the test was positive.
Jones and his staff were tested for COVID-19 and were asked to work from home and self-isolate. Others who may have been in contact with the employee are notified, Dunne told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Missouri State Representative Sara Walsh, a Republican running for the 4th Congressional seat from U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler, said Thursday that she and her husband, Steve, were living with COVID-19 and that her husband was hospitalized on a ventilator.
Steve Walsh is Hartzler’s press secretary.
Sara Walsh, of Ashland, said Thursday that she was recovering from the virus at home. She posted on Twitter asking people to pray for her husband, who she said is “very sick”.
They are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Walsh said she did not receive the vaccine because it had not been fully approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration and was concerned about risk factors, KRCG-TV reported. She also said she had friends who had had negative reactions to the vaccine and was not afraid to get the vaccine because she had been in good health since the start of the pandemic.