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Southwest Missouri hospital turns away COVID patients as Delta variant gains momentum

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This 2020 electron microscope made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention image shows the spherical coronavirus particles from the first U.S. case of COVID-19.(C.S. Goldsmith, A. Tamin/CDC via AP)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some COVID-19 patients are being turned away from an overwhelmed Springfield hospital where cases are surging and taken to less-stressed hospitals hundreds of miles away in Kansas City and St. Louis.

The Springfield News-Leaders reports that CoxHealth system president Steve Edwards said Tuesday that the hospital in Springfield was on “COVID diversion” as the Delta variant gains momentum in southwest Missouri, where large swaths of residents aren’t vaccinated.

He also said four Cox patients recently were transferred to BJC HealthCare, a St. Louis-area health system with 14 hospitals including Barnes-Jewish, a big teaching hospital tied to Washington University’s medical school.

Another four Cox patients have been transferred to St. Luke’s Health System in Kansas City.

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