A Springfield hospital has opened its sixth COVID-19 ward as the delta virus variant rages in the state's southwest region.

The Kansas City Star reports Mercy Hospital in Springfield announced the new ward Sunday, as the hospital was treating 133 virus patients.

Chief Administrative Officer Erik Frederick says the hospital needed at most five virus wards last year. Frederick has tweeted that many people in local rural areas are unvaccinated.

He also says people from rural areas don't have nearby hospitals, so they come to Mercy Hospital in Springfield.

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