Ventilator shortage as Missouri virus hospitalizations spike

MISSION, Kansas (AP) – The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients jumped by nearly 27% over the Fourth of July weekend in a hard-hit area of Missouri where immunization rates are low, leading to a temporary ventilator shortfall and a public call for help from respiratory therapists.

The Delta variant, first identified in India, is spreading rapidly, straining hospitals in Springfield, and raising fresh fears that the situation could soon grow worse as holiday gatherings seed fresh cases.

Missouri leads the nation with the most new cases per capita in the past 14 days.

Photo Gallery