Kansas health officials on Tuesday urged communities to take stronger action as more hospital rooms are devoted to caring for coronavirus patients and hundreds of doctors, nurses and other workers are quarantined, leading some surgical procedures to be delayed.
The Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Doctor Lee Norman, said a system that he likened to air traffic control for coronavirus patients is being put in place, so nurses from rural hospitals can make a single call to find a larger hospital that can take their sickest patients.
In some cases, nursing and doctors have been spending up to eight hours looking for a large hospital with an opening.
Norman said these rural communities can’t leave it entirely to the state to help.
“Number one, they need to help themselves,” he said during a call with officials from the University of Kansas Hospital. “They have been, I think, very slow to come on board with the anticontagion measures that we know work.”