(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Rising coronavirus cases is putting pressure on northwest Missouri hospitals.
"We're seeing an unprecedented number at our hospital," said Mosaic Life Care Chief Government and Community Relations Officer Pat Dillon.
COVID beds at Mosaic Life Care are filling fast. Just this week the Mosaic system hit a record high number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 with 95 in their hospitals in St. Joseph, Maryville and Albany.
"Once people end up in the hospital with COVID they are here for a long period of time especially if they end up in our ICU," said Mosaic Chief Medical Officer Dr. Davin Turner.
Mosaic hospital leaders sounded the alarm at Monday's City Council meeting.
"What we are seeing around us, not only in Buchanan County but in the surrounding counties are increasing numbers of positivity," said Dr. Turner.
While the hospital is bracing for a continued influx of patients health care workers are being stretched to their limit...
"The stresses that the nurses feel in these cases are very often very different than what they face in their regular course of work during the year. These are some very sick patients," said Dillon. "It's a lot of strain on our caregivers and we're very proud at how they're handling it but it is a stress."
"Right now they are doing a wonderful job and they're hanging in there but over the next few months I don't know how things will all work out with them just from the standpoint of stress especially if the numbers go up," said Dr. Turner.
Mosaic is urging you to continue to wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands fearful the next few months could put many people at risk.
"The next few months bring concerns. The combination of COVID, the flu season, students returning from college, cold weather driving folks indoors, and holiday gatherings have the potential for big spikes," said Dillon.
So far Mosaic has been able to handle the surge in COVID cases.
"I've been asked many times what's the number when you would be overwhelmed. I don't know what that number is yet. It really comes down to having the capacity of caregivers to provide that care," said Dr. Turner.
While the number of COVID cases is not yet at a breaking point, record breaking numbers don't lie leaving a community facing a hard truth.
"This next few months with flu and all these other factors is very critical," said Dillon. "But hopefully our community is listening and continues to listen."