Record Number Of Oklahomans Hospitalized Due To COVID-19


Thursday, July 16th 2020, 6:05 pm
By: Storme Jones


OKLAHOMA CITY -

More Oklahomans are in the hospital due to COVID-19 than that at any time since the pandemic began, according to a Wednesday evening report.

Those rising hospitalization numbers are setting off alarm bells for some in the medical community, while the state says they've got a plan to handle an influx.

"We are starting to get overwhelmed," Oklahoma State Medical Association President Dr. George Monks said. "The hospital capacity is starting to get tight."

Seventy-seven new patients battling the virus checked into hospitals Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 638 people.

Statewide, Oklahoma health official said 16% of ICU beds remain, however Monks saID the situation is much different here in Oklahoma City.

"As of Monday, of this week in Oklahoma City, there was only 5% of ICU beds remaining," Monks said. "If you look at the counties surrounding Oklahoma County, there was only 2% of the ICU beds available."

"I'm talking to the hospital association and the hospital CEOs, they are all assuring me that we have the capacity," Interim State Health Commissioner Lance Frye said at a press conference Wednesday.

The state health department said bed availability could be rapidly ramped up if they activate crisis plans, greatly increasing the bed capacity beyond current estimates.

"From where we are now, we would have to have 7,200 new cases each day for 14 days before we are going to reach capacity with our hospital system," Frye said.