The number of patients in hospitals locally and statewide has ticked up recently as positive COVID-19 cases continue their record increases, but local hospitals say they're ready if that case surge turns into a patient surge.
Two major Boone County hospitals counted 18 patients as of Wednesday, one of the highest numbers of the pandemic. The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services counted seven Boone County residents hospitalized with COVID-19, also one of the highest counts of the pandemic.
University of Missouri Hospital has 16 patients being treated for COVID-19 and has capacity for more patients. Boone Hospital Center on Wednesday only had two patient with COVID-19
The numbers are increasing statewide, as well, as Missouri continues to break daily records for new COVID-19 cases. The state set a new record Tuesday with 773 cases.
Dr. Randell Williams, the Director of Health and Senior Services for Missouri, said testing sites show how many cases could turn into hospitalizations.
"Which is to get a snapshot around the state of how new cases that might be emerging that two weeks from now could result in hospitalizations."
Meanwhile Boone County cases have continued their surge, with 145 new cases last week. The positive rate has shot to nearly 16 percent.
The state reported 694 hospitalizations as of Sunday -- the most recent data available. The number spent much of June around 600 but had dipped no lower than 676 since June 29.
The number peaked at 984 on May 5.
MU Health Care spokeswoman Jesslyn Chew said the hospital is prepared for more COVID-19 patients.
"We have a plan in place where we can be flexible and adapt to accommodate an influx," she said.
Boone Hospital is also prepared for a surge, spokeswoman Jessica Park said.
"We have anticipated the likelihood of a surge and developed a thorough plan to address all aspects of that," she said. "This includes where to locate the patients in a surge, training nurses to work in other areas if needed, there are a lot of parts to it."
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