ST. LOUIS – Protesters gathered outside Mercy Hospital Sunday night. They’re upset about Mercy’s policy requiring its workers to get vaccinated in order to keep their jobs. They said the new mask mandate in St. Louis City and St. Louis County and Mercy’s policy infringes on their rights.
Now St. Louis area doctors are heading to Springfield, Missouri where physicians are overwhelmed in caring for COVID-19 patients at Mercy Springfield Hospital.
The Springfield hospital has had to open a sixth COVID ward to treat patients. They’re up to 140 patients as of Tuesday, a higher number of patients than they had in the fall. Most of these new COVID patients are not vaccinated. Approximately 70 of them are under 65 years of age.
“What they’re looking at it is a large number of ICU patients with COVID that are on ventilators, younger patients, sicker patients. So, those physicians have been working extra shifts, longer hours, without many breaks,” said Dr. Ashok Palagiri, Mercy critical care physician.
Doctors from Mercy facilities through the St. Louis area will be rotating in for at least the next six to eight weeks, providing relief for the Springfield doctors.