Missouri county requests funds for ‘alternate’ hospital site to relieve COVID-19 strain

Officials in Springfield, Missouri are requesting state funds to establish an “alternate care site” for COVID-19 patients to help relieve the pressure on overwhelmed local hospitals.

On Wednesday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management submitted a funding request to the state. The facility would be used for transitional care for stable COVID-19 patients.

The coronavirus has made a comeback in Missouri, and the highly contagious delta variant in particular has been linked to case spikes that are among the highest per capita in the country.

By the numbers: There were 230 patients being treated for COVID-19 in Greene County hospitals as of Wednesday, the health department said; 104 of those are in critical care and 61 are on ventilators.

Greene County is averaging more than 196 cases per day, and “the increase in severe illness is projected to outpace hospital capacity,” officials said in a statement.

Coronavirus cases nationally have more than doubled since June, but the increase is especially sharp in areas with low vaccination. In Springfield-Greene County, only 40 percent of the eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.