Kansas hospitals stressed as coronavirus cases rise

Several dozen hospitals say they expect staffing shortages as state averages more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases a day.

By

State News

November 5, 2020 - 9:23 AM

Hospitals serving Kansas patients expect staffing shortages over the next week because of the coronavirus. Photo by Celia Llopis-Jepsen/Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Several dozen hospitals serving Kansas patients reported Wednesday that they expect to deal with staffing shortages over the next week as the state continues to report an average of well over 1,000 new coronavirus cases a day.

The Wichita area’s two major health systems said Wednesday that almost 150 coronavirus patients were hospitalized, their highest numbers since the pandemic began. The Ascension Via Christi system is trying to bring about 60 nurses from outside Kansas into the state to help with staffing, and it has converted space into two new units for COVID-19 patients.

A surge in cases even prompted public health officials and the local Chamber of Commerce in Reno County in south-central Kansas to launch a 10-day campaign to be more diligent in following the county’s mask mandate and following other public health recommendations, such as observing social distancing and avoiding gatherings.

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