JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KRCG/CNN/AP) -- A Missouri ICU nurse is appealing to the unvaccinated.

Shannon Hoffmeyer, an ICU nurse at Capital Region in Jefferson City, said she and her colleagues can no longer sit by and watch others die. Hoffmeyer has seen families lose loved ones-- while only being able to say goodbye over the phone.

"Or standing at a doorway, like they're some zoo display animal, and watch them suffocate. And we try to make them as comfortable as they can because they haven't been there," she continued. "We are simply breaking under the pressure. I don't know how many people have to continue to die from this for the public to realize we really need their help."

Describing the toll of her workload, Hoffmeyer compared her work in frontline healthcare to that of a solider.

"You know, you go into work, and you suit up in your uniform," she said KRCG. "You're putting on your PPE, you're changing into your scrubs. You have an enemy that's indiscriminate that wants to kill you."

Information posted Friday on the state health department's coronavirus dashboard shows 2,318 people hospitalized with the virus, 50 more than a day earlier and the highest number in seven months. The state reported 2,213 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, with a seven-day average of 1,991 patients. The state also reported five additional deaths. All told, Missouri has reported 597,903 confirmed cases and 10,007 deaths since the pandemic began.

In Missouri, the vaccination rate is holding steady as 13,000 doses were given out per day - that's the same rate as one week ago.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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