Missouri Set to Bring in Out-Of-State Health Care Workers

(AP) — Missouri plans to bring in hundreds of health care workers from other states to help provide care as already-stretched hospitals prepare for a possible increase in COVID-19 cases resulting from the Thanksgiving holiday.

Gov. Mike Parson and Herb Kuhn, president and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association, announced Wednesday the state will partner with Vizient, a private national health care company, to recruit up to 760 more health care workers for Missouri.

Kuhn said the partnership comes as early data raised concerns about a possible surge in new COVID-19 cases because of Thanksgiving travel.

He said data showed Missourians’ travel for recreation and retail increased an average of 40% daily from Nov. 23 to Thanksgiving Day.

As of Wednesday, Missouri recorded a daily average of 2,827 new cases of COVID-19 over the past seven days, raising its total since the pandemic started to 305,370 confirmed cases.

As of Sunday — the latest data available — the state reported that 2,651 people were hospitalized in Missouri with COVID-19 and that only 27% of the state’s inpatient hospital beds were unoccupied.