Springfield hospital officials have noted that people from across the region who are diagnosed with COVID-19 come to the city’s hospitals for treatment. About 34.3% of Greene County residents had completed vaccinations as of Tuesday, and several surrounding counties had even lower numbers.
“This surge in the spread of the virus has placed extreme strain on our health care system,” Katie Towns, acting director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department told the city council on Monday.
Spokeswoman for Cox and Mercy hospitals in Springfield did not immediately respond for request for comment about Parson’s remarks.
The surge prompted Springfield officials to cancel the popular Birthplace of Route 66 Festival scheduled for late August, citing the increasing number of cases and hospitalizations, along with the region’s low rate of vaccinations, The Kansas City Star reported.
Springfield Mayor Ken McClure told reporters Monday it would be impossible to enforce a new mask mandate or lockdown in Springfield. Instead, local political, public health and church leaders held a news conference to encourage vaccinations, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
Parson noted that 55% of Missourians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, although that includes only people 18 and older. In total, 45.4% of the overall population has initiated vaccination and 39.8% has completed it.