SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A total of 27 patients died from COVID-19 over the weekend in Springfield hospitals.
KOLR10 spoke with health officials at Mercy and CoxHealth and say almost everyone who died was unvaccinated.
“It’s been a long weekend here at Mercy Hospital Springfield,” said Erin Baker, a registered nurse at Mercy Hospital. “The ICUs are filling up and can no longer support how high the needs are in the hospital.”
“So far we’ve lost 445 people, none of them were vaccinated,” said President and CEO of CoxHealth Steve Edwards. “We’ve yet to lose a patient to COVID that has been vaccinated.”
Since Friday, July 26, there were 15 deaths CoxHealth and 72 deaths for the month of July. The patients had one thing in common. None were vaccinated.
Over at Mercy Hospital, there were 12 deaths over the weekend and 63 deaths since the beginning of June. Seven of those patients were fully vaccinated.
This means 89% of people who died from COVID-19 were unvaccinated and these numbers are taking a toll on healthcare workers.
“The trauma for our nursing team is dier,” said Edwards.
“I just had a patient yesterday that was emergently intubated right in front of me,” said Baker.
“There’s a sense of exasperation,” said Edwards. “There’s lots of sorrow. A nurse, when they lose a patient, they never forget that loss. There’s a team there that’s experiencing as many as 15 deaths over the weekend.”
According to Edwards, it’s never been this bad not even during the winter months.
“Because in the winter, we had hope of a vaccine, we found a vaccine, we didn’t understand the social science of it, that so many people in our country and in our area would reject the vaccine, it’s not true, there’s other parts of the country where 90% of the people in certain counties and zip codes are vaccinated, it’s not the case in Southwest Missouri,” said Edwards. ” It breaks our heart, this is a community we love, people we care for.”
Edwards and Baker say it’s almost unbearable to watch because they are preventable deaths.
“Our doctors and nurses tell me that it’s becoming almost uniform, a sense of remorse, regret, wish I’d taken the vaccine, didn’t think it would affect me,” said Edwards.
“It’s hard,” said Baker. ” I never expected this. Please consider getting vaccinated.”
Edwards says vaccines take about five weeks to boost the immune system at full strength. So, it’s crucial to get vaccinated now to avoid the next wave expected to hit in the fall.