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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

As COVID Hospitalizations Tick Upward Again, CoxHealth Reports Seeing Younger Patients Admitted

CoxHealth is reporting an increase in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, many of them younger adults. Experts say the virus is changing.

Cox reported 48 patients hospitalized with the disease as of Tuesday, June 8, up from the teens in previous weeks. The spike in hospitalizations comes after Springfield lifted COVID-19 restrictions in May, despite not reaching its goal of vaccinating 50% of residents. 

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Robin Trotman says he’s seen a shift from older patients in the ICU to include patients as young as 18 developing serious disease. 

“This is a certainty, and we don’t have very medical certainties," Trotman says. "If you’re not immune to COVID, one of two things is going to happen: you’re either going to get vaccinated, or you’re going to get infected.” 

Trotman says none of the people who became critically ill with COVID-related pneumonia were vaccinated. He says being young is no longer a guarantee of safety. 

Josh Conaway is a graduate of Missouri State University with a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Affairs. He works as a news reporter and announcer at KSMU. His favorite part of the job is exploring the rich diversity of the Ozarks and meeting people with interesting stories to share. He has a passion for history and running.