By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
An urgent message from Mosaic Life Care.
“We want to give this update to everyone to let you know that we are experiencing record high COVID numbers, record high COVID in-patients, and unfortunately staff shortages,” Mosaic CEO, Dr Mark Laney opens a news media briefing with a sobering message.
“We must not let our guard down,” Laney says. “We know that everyone is weary of COVID after two years of it disrupting our lives, but we are in a circumstance today where we have more COVID patients and more challenges than even a year ago.”
Mosaic Life Care officials say the Omicron variant is causing a surge in COVID-19 infections in its five-county region, putting pressure on Mosaic staffing and services.
Chief Quality Officer, Dr. Edward Kammerer, says as the coronavirus pandemic enters its third year, the strain of the pandemic is evident on the staff.
“The staff is tired. We’ve been working hard for a long time,” Kammerer tells reporters. “We do have an extensive plan in place. We’re here to take care of your needs. We are not curtailing any of our other activities, because we want to make sure that we don’t harm any patients by not doing the appropriate care at the right time at the right place.”
Infections have gone up rapidly in northwest Missouri, according to Mosaic officials, though they add the Omicron variant has not produced as many hospitalizations as other strains. Mosaic reports that at the beginning of the week it is treating 76 COVID-19 patients system-wide; 73 in St. Joseph, two in Maryville, and one in Albany.
The seven-day coronavirus positivity rate in the five-county northwest Missouri region Mosaic serves is up to 38.83%.
A rush to seek COVID testing has placed an incredible strain on the Mosaic Emergency Room in St. Joseph. Mosaic has set up a COVID-19 Hotline to ease the strain and officials urge residents to seek tests with their primary care doctors or at a local pharmacy. The Hotline number is 855-577-0211.
Laney says the spikes in cases has not spared the Mosaic staff.
“We have about 100 care givers out with COVID right now,” according to Laney. “And so that’s just an additional stress on the system. This is one of the reasons that we have mandated vaccinations for our care givers.”
Laney says Mosaic isn’t pushing the panic button, yet.
“Things are very tight,” he says. “The system on a daily basis and our care givers are undergoing a stress test. Are we in a crisis mode? No. Could we be in a crisis mode? Yes.”