Kansas City Hospitals Turn Away Ambulances Due To Growing COVID-19 Patients

Kansas City, Missouri, is seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases, and as a result, some hospitals have turned away ambulances because coronavirus patients are occupying hospital beds.

According to a top physician at St. Luke’s Health System, metro hospitals and emergency departments say they see a spike in cases that have caused them to stop accepting ambulances.

This increase has affected the operations of eight medical centers as of Wednesday evening, but marc Larsen, operations director of St. Luke’s COVID-19 Response Team, did not name those facilities, The Hill reported.

“We’re bursting at the seams in the metropolitan area, and really across the state and the region,” said Larsen, who is also an emergency physician. However, a spokesperson did say two of those centers are associated with St. Luke’s system—which admitted over 100 patients diagnosed with the virus on Tuesday, setting a new high. And as of Thursday, the St. Luke facilities are still averaging 90 patients.

The influx was the reason ambulances were being diverted. The diversion went into Thursday afternoon, five of the eight centers were still slammed with the increase of coronavirus patients.

The hospitals developed a diversion plan that allowed them to prioritize incoming patients by severity. If someone suffered a stroke, heart attack, or other urgent matter, they were able to get care.

The state is getting hit hard with cases, making it harder for rural hospitals specifically. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says there have been 10,910 new cases within the past week. Among those were 62 deaths.

The positive test rate is at 18.3%, three times higher than the World Health Organization’s 5% or lower rate. This is a sign that COVID-19 is well-controlled in an area.

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