CoxHealth Puts Out National Call for Help Amid COVID-19 Surge

CoxHealth is putting out a call nationwide for help.

Hospital officials said Tuesday at a press event that while the hospital is in desperate need of travel nurses and respiratory therapists.

“What is so challenging for us right now is the fact that in the winter we had a lot of traveling nurses here to help us,” Vice President of Clinical Services and Deputy Incident Commander for COVID-19 Response Ashley Kimberling said at the press conference. “It has been harder to find traveling nurses recently to come in and help support our team.”

CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards had posted on social media before the press conference of the hospital’s severe need for extra staff.

“Call to arms Respiratory Therapists!” Edwards tweeted. “Springfield, Mo is struggling with surging Covid volumes. Cox has plenty of ventilators, PPE, but our heroic RT staff need reenforcements. If you are an RT and can come to our aid please call or text 417-269-5627 We would be so grateful.”

Kimberling said that six traveling nurses are starting today, but that staffing levels are well below the 280 that were on staff during the winter months and the initial surge of COVID-19. Kimberling noted the increase in patient load.

“We have been kind of staying at a census of around 95 to 105 COVID patients for about two weeks,” Kimberling said. “On June 5, we were at 35 patients.”

Cox officials say that the overwhelming number of cases are from the Delta variant, with a test from the state showing 50 of 56 patients sampled had the Delta variant. The hospital administration is concerned about a spike taking place because of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced after the press conference that 17 Greene County residents died from COVID-19 between June 21 and July 4.

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