Freeman reports rise in COVID patients, says health system can handle increase

While numerous school districts throughout the Four States have closed for the remainder of the week, officials with Freeman Health System held their first COVID 19 press briefing of 2022. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

By looking at recent COVID data on you would think that area hospitals are likely filled to the brim with new patients. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Joplin health department reported an over 75% rise in cases over the past 14-days, that’s 714 new confirmed cases.

But that large increase in cases has translated to about a 33% increase in the number of hospitalized patients at Freeman Health System in Joplin. Freeman’s President and CEO Paula Baker speaking Wednesday, “As predicted with the holidays we have seen a little surge in our COVID in-patient census. We have 35 patients right now, hospitalized with COVID, with one on a vent.” At Freeman’s final COVID briefing of 2021, held on December 16, officials reported 23 patients with one on a ventilator. Baker said that all of Freeman’s facilities continue to operate with COVID protocols in place. For 89 9 KRPS, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro

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