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Springfield hospitals struggle to discharge patients to nursing homes

Photo Courtesy Mercy

A national group representing nursing homes has reported a spike in COVID cases among residents and staff at long-term care facilities. Locally, this trend appears to be impacting hospitals as they to discharge patients.

According to data from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, COVID cases increased sevenfold among nursing home residents in a three week period from December to January—and ninefold in nursing home staff.

Nursing homes nationwide are grappling with a staffing crisis at the same time cases are surging. Brent Hubbard, president of Mercy Hospitals Springfield, said in a press conference this week that hospitals are feeling that pinch when they try to discharge patients to these long-term facilities.

“Some more patients are staying within the hospital setting longer, waiting on a bed,” Hubbard said. 

Springfield hospitals are seeing record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and health officials confirm that the highly-contagious Omicron variant is now the dominant strain in Greene County.