Topeka hospital sees highest number of COVID patients since months ago

TOPEKA (KSNT) — The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus saw 16 COVID patients on August 3. That’s the most the hospital has seen in months.

The increase of patients is due to the highly contagious Delta variant, which is spreading rapidly across Kansas. Out of all of the patients within the last couple of months, 80 percent of them were unvaccinated. Kansas City hospitals are reporting they saw four times as many COVID patients in July versus the month of June. Topeka is falling in line with those numbers as well.

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“About the end of June we had maybe one or two COVID positive patients, around that number,” Todd Blackinton, an Administrator for The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis said. “But it has just been going steadily up. Especially in the last two weeks.”

The Delta variant is continuing to increase across the state. More than 1,600 cases have been identified in Kansas according to the latest numbers published with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Those who are vaccinated don’t have to worry near as much. The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus is seeing this first hand with their staff members.

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“So many of our associates have been vaccinated that we don’t have as much staff out as we did back in the winter,” Blackinton said. “The vaccine works.”

State health officials are urging people who are unvaccinated to get the vaccine because they believe it is the quickest way to stop the spread of the virus.