hospitalizations | KBIA


Courtesy of Scotland County Hospital

As vaccine distribution gets going, some rural hospitals are facing uncertainty when it comes to immunizing their staff. Dr. Randy Tobler, the CEO of Scotland County Hospital in rural northeastern Missouri, initially didn't expect to receive the shipment of the Moderna vaccine he ordered for his staff. While it ultimately showed up this week, he fears other rural providers won't be as lucky. 

Courtesy of Erik Martin

This is part one of a two-part report on how rural hospitals across Missouri are dealing with the surge in COVID-19 admissions. 

30 hours — that’s how long it took Erik Martin to find one of his patients a hospital bed.

Martin is an emergency physician who works in hospitals throughout southern Missouri. “It was pretty frustrating, because we had to call a lot of different hospitals and they just couldn’t help us," Martin said.

Courtesy of CoxHealth

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Missouri, and unlike other surges earlier in the summer, hospitals in most parts of the state are filling up. At Cox Health, a health system in Springfield that operates multiple hospitals, expanding capacity over the past nine months still hasn't been enough.

Cox has added more than 100 beds, but the system has still had to turn people away. CEO Steve Edwards told the Health and Wealth Desk how the system is surviving the surge.

Sara Shariari / KBIA

The University of Missouri announced Thursday the majority of its in-person classes will switch to remote instruction after the school's Thanksgiving break. 

In an email Chancellor and UM System President Mun Choi sent out Thursday afternoon, he wrote the main reason for the change was the surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the broader community, and the spike in hospitalizations

Wikimedia Commons

A month ago, there were fewer than 60 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Boone County. This week, there were more than 140. COVID-19 hospitalizations are up across the state, with more than 2,000 people admitted as of November 7, according to the Missouri Hospital Association.

The increase was enough to push BJC Healthcare to start deferring some scheduled procedures at hospitals in the St. Louis area. Columbia hospitals aren’t there yet, but it’s not out of the question.