Officials with Freeman Health System in Joplin held their first COVID 19 briefing of 2022 Wednesday. Head of COVID services Dr. Robert McNab said that nearly all of the cases that the hospital system is seeing are the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. At Freeman’s final briefing last year held on December 16, officials reported 23 COVID patients with one on a ventilator.
As of Wednesday, Freeman reported 34 patients, with one on a vent. McNab also highlighted that even before the pandemic the Four States had three coronaviruses circulating widely among the population. “We always have coronavirus in this community. Way before 2019, we had at least three circulating coronaviruses, fulltime, always had it, always will have it, and prior to 2019, it really was hitting the community like a bad head cold”. McNab went on to say that it’s likely that new strains of the coronavirus will bring less illness and it becomes more of a background of our everyday health.