Joplin’s Freeman Hospital adds third COVID unit

A Patient Room Inside Freemans New Covid Unit


JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Hospital in Joplin responded to the rising number of Coronavirus-infected patients they’ve taken in during the last month and a half by creating a third unit dedicated to COVID-19.

“If we go back in time a couple of months back, we kind of had it in the 10 to 15 patient range per day. We’re now seeing consistently up into the 40s and 50s again which is pretty similar to our high water marks over the winter,” said Dr. Robert McNab, Freeman’s Director of COVID Services.

The new COVID unit will assist Coronavirus patients who are transitioning out of the intensive care unit. But these patients still need a lot of assistance including oxygen and specialized medical equipment.

“This unit sits in a middle position. So, it’s for patients that are still severely sick but they’re not at that ICU/ventilator level,” said Dr. McNab.

Dr. McNab says that with the addition of this third COVID unit, 20% of the hospital’s beds are now dedicated to Coronavirus patients.

Dr. McNab also took time to reflect on how he feels about seeing COVID-19 numbers heading in the wrong direction after the 4-State area was making progress against the pandemic earlier in the year.

“I felt that this situation was under control and manageable. Contrast that to today, where now we’re opening up another unit and 20% of Freeman’s resources are going towards this one diagnosis. It’s disappointing to see the rock roll back down the hill and realize, ‘Oh boy. I’ve been here before and I didn’t like it the first time,'” said Dr. McNab.