Tulsa County Leaders Note Encouraging Trends In COVID-19 Spread

Friday, September 17th 2021, 6:11 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Healthcare leaders in Tulsa said they're seeing encouraging trends with COVID-19's spread.

The health department said it's seen a gradual decrease the past two weeks, but cases are still elevated and the nursing shortage continues to be a problem.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said about 16 percent of the people in the hospital in Tulsa County are COVID-19 patients. That's down from 27 percent just last month.

Bynum said he's also seeing encouraging trends in the number of people vaccinated in Tulsa County. New numbers show more than 70 percent of Tulsans who are eligible for the vaccine have received at least one shot.

Bynum said that's important because most of the seriously ill patients in the hospital are unvaccinated.

Dr. Damon Baker, Chief Medical Officer at OSU Medical Center, said a common issue for hospitals across the state and nationwide continues to be a shortage of nurses.

Right now, he said they have more than 100 open nursing positions, Hillcrest has more than 300 and at Saint Francis, it's more than 500.

"The staffing company that we work with at OSU to bring agency staff in to try and fill our vacancies is reporting that they have over 34,000 nursing vacancies nationwide," said Baker.

As far as treatment goes, Dr. Baker said they're seeing encouraging signs with the use of Regeneron.