New COVID-19 changes spark hope ahead of the holiday season | COVID-19 – Community News

New COVID-19 changes spark hope ahead of the holiday season | COVID-19

COLUMBIA – Molly Shoop, a progressive nurse at MU Health Care, said before the holidays that morale is high at the hospital.

“Overall, patient morale with the restrictions lifted has helped tremendously,” Shoop said.

Shoop said the change in COVID-19 visitor restrictions and the CDC director’s recommendation to expand the number of adults eligible for the booster shot are both lights in an otherwise dark time.

“It was hard for the patients because they couldn’t have their loved ones there, so as a nurse you had to play that role for them and take the extra time for them that their family couldn’t provide,” Shoop said.

The CDC director authorized the booster dose of Pfizer and Moderna late Friday afternoon. This comes less than a week after Thanksgiving, a time the CDC and local health officials are warning the number of cases could rise.

Heading into the winter months and the holiday season that could lead to more cases, Shoop said she has hope because of her patients and colleagues.

“For me, I almost feel resilient,” Shoop said. “There’s nothing we nurses can’t overcome here. That’s how I keep my morale high as a nurse. I’ve already been through the hardest part of my career right now.”

Kristi Campbell, the director of the Cole County Health Department, said people are still looking for vaccines on a daily basis for a variety of reasons.

“There seems to be some demand for the first, second, or third dose from the people. There is still some demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in the community,” Campbell said. “People are like, ‘Oh well, if there are more cases, maybe I should go get that vaccine,’ or it could just be, ‘Oh, it’s time for the flu shot, I’m going to get my booster,’ or it could be are their six months.”

Campbell said the health department and hospitals are ready to adapt if necessary to keep cases down during the holiday season.

“Everyone has been learning about the vaccine and how to streamline the processes in the last six to eight months,” Campbell said. “We’re all pretty good at adapting and we’ll just increase the workforce as needed based on demand.”

Campbell said people with questions about whether they should get the booster shot should contact their doctor.