More than 300 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 at two health systems in Springfield including three patients under age 10.
On Thursday, there were 145 COVID-19 patients at Mercy Springfield, according to chief administrative officer Erik Frederick. Five of those patients were under the age of 20 and three were under age 10.
“What’s your breaking point?” Frederick wrote on social media.
Ninety-three percent of the patients were unvaccinated.
Southwest Missouri has been hit hard by a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, which physicians have attributed to the more transmissible delta variant and low vaccination rates.
In Greene County, where Springfield is located, 42.1% of the population has initiated vaccination. That’s behind the state’s rate of 47.7%, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Missouri sits at 38th on a list of U.S. vaccination rates by state compiled by The New York Times.
Later Friday, Frederick said Mercy had 130 COVID-19 patients. Six were children, including four under age 10.
There were 168 COVID-19 patients at CoxHealth, CEO Steve Edwards said Friday on social media. Three patients were 19 or younger.
He encouraged people to wear masks especially in light of evidence that vaccinated people can spread the delta variant.
“Politicians, please listen to science, not the angry mob,” Edwards posted. “I know it takes courage.”
The health system has recorded a total of 553 deaths with at least 75 in July.
The health system has hospitals in southwest Missouri including Springfield, Branson, Monett and Barton County.
Vaccine clinics for students age 12 and up will be held Aug. 3 and Aug. 5 at Hammons Field, in Springfield. Students who get a vaccine will get two free tickets to that night’s baseball game.
Vaccine information can be found at vaccines.gov.