Doctors in Kansas and Missouri are hunting down ventilators and running out of monoclonal antibodies as COVID-19 patient counts hit pandemic highs at a growing number of hospitals.

Health officials for hospitals in the Kansas City and Wichita areas issued a desperate plea Wednesday for people to wear masks and avoid crowds.

And the situation is so bad in the St. Louis area that health officials there are urging people just to stay home.

The strain has prevented bigger, city hospitals from accepting as many rural transfer patients as they otherwise might, including patients who need treatment for heart attacks, strokes, serious car accidents or other non-COVID-19 reasons.

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