Mercy Hospital sees most Covid-19 hospitalizations in weeks

JOPLIN, Mo.–Joplin hospitals are once again experiencing a spike in Covid-19 cases. At Mercy hospital, they’re reporting the most they’ve seen in weeks.

“Shortly after the holidays. We saw a little bit of a creep. obviously, since the holidays, you know, the two week incubation period on this hit us last week and then into this week, we expect the obviously the peak to hit over the next week or two is where our projection models show,” said Michael Herr, Vice President of Operations for Mercy Hospital Joplin.

 Herr says they are seeing less severe illness amid the current spread of the Omicron variant, but it’s not time for folks to let their guard down just yet.

“What we’re seeing is folks obviously being admitted with Covid-19 are a little more stable when they’re being admitted, the point of admission…We’re able to manage it a little bit better from a medical standpoint, which is nice for us.”

Despite being manageable, rising cases remain a concern.

“It’s still concerning for us. it’s still very much a reality for the facility in the community. We still want the attention to be out there and we want obviously all the measures that we’re asking to be in place to still be in place in order to protect not only our coworkers but most importantly, our patients.”

Measures like having all Mercy employees and patients in medical-grade masks instead of cloth masks.

“All of our employees are in level two, level three medical-grade masks. we’re asking all our employees to come out of cloth masks, which has happened so that that’s really out of an abundance of caution and then out of the recommendation of the CDC guidance that we’re following.”

And with 53 out of their 62 patients unvaccinated, Herr stresses the importance of being vaccinated to protect yourself from serious illness due to Covid-19.

“Some of these people that are being hospitalized may have received the two-dose vaccine, but they may have received it early last year. And so we’re talking a year later now. And so the waining period for it is such that it affects the effectiveness, is not as good as it was back then. So that’s the reason for the booster. ”

While 9 being hospitalized are fully vaccinated, they do not have the data on whether they had received a booster shot.

Currently, Freeman Health System is reporting 10 Covid-19 patients in their ICU, 22 in their Medical Covid Unit, 9 in other areas of the Hospital with a negative pressure room, including the E.R, as well as three at their Neosho Facility. Additionally, they are reporting 3 on ventilators.