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‘Ambulance strike teams’ headed to Springfield, Mo., to assist hospitals

‘Ambulance strike teams’ headed to Springfield, Mo., to assist hospitals

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Rare 'breakthrough' COVID cases are causing alarm, confusion

FILE - In this Monday, July 12, 2021, file photo, Karen Martin receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic hosted by James River Church West Campus in conjunction with Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield, Mo. COVID-19 cases have doubled over the past three weeks, driven by the fast-spreading delta variant, lagging vaccination rates in some states and Fourth of July gatherings. The five states with the biggest two-week jump in cases per capita all had lower rates, Missouri, 45.9%; Arkansas, 43%, Nevada, 50.9%, Louisiana, 39.2% and Utah, 49.5%. (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP, File)

Amid an acute increase in coronavirus cases in the Springfield, Missouri, area, the state is sending "ambulance strike teams" and other resources to assist hospitals in that region.

The strike teams are expected to arrive Friday, and will include 10 advanced life support ambulances along with 20 medical professionals, two strike team leaders and a logistics specialist to help with transporting patients, according to a statement from Gov. Mike Parson's office.

Through a mutual aid request by Missouri's State Emergency Management Agency, the teams are being sent from Arkansas, and will remain for up to two weeks. Officials in Greene County, which includes Springfield, requested the additional resources on July 14.

A request has been submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for additional teams, if needed.

The state also is providing personnel and equipment to support a center for monoclonal antibody centralized infusion, which has been shown to reduce the risk of severe disease and hospitalization in some COVID-19 patients.

Greene County also has asked for an area hotel to be converted to a stand-alone alternate medical site to offer acute care or serve as a step-down unit for COVID-19 patients. That request has been submitted to federal emergency management officials, Parson's office said.

Just Monday, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in southwest Missouri hit 251, passing a record high set on Dec. 1, as cases climb amid overall lower vaccination rates in Missouri and the prevalence of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

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