KU Med Turning Down Transfers

A major Kansas health system is declining to admit patients from other hospitals because it has too few open beds with the faster-spreading delta variant wiping out recent months of progress for the state in containing COVID-19.

Doctor Steve Stites, the chief medical officer for the University of Kansas Health System, said that the bed space problem at its main hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, is now worse than it was last fall, when the average number of new cases per day was climbing toward pandemic highs.

He said the hospital had open beds back then because people were wearing masks and social distancing, and doctors weren’t seeing other infections.

Stites said the University of Kansas Health System is turning down between one and six patient transfers per day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 43% of the state’s residents have been fully vaccinated.

That lagged behind the national rate of 48.8%.