Southwestern Missouri seeing uptick in COVID-19 cases | COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD, Mon. (AP) – Health officials in parts of southwest Missouri are reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

CoxHealth’s flagship hospital in Springfield currently has between 35 and 40 COVID-19 patients, more than twice as many as it did two weeks ago.

CEO Steve Edwards said nearly 20% of patients tested at CoxHealth facilities in southwest Missouri had tested positive for the virus, up from 5% two weeks ago.

In Joplin, three district hospitals reported a total of 39 COVID-19 patients on Wednesday. At the beginning of May the number was around 15.

Health officials blame the surge to relatively low vaccination rates and more people attending social gatherings without masks or social distancing.

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