Gov. Stitt, Health Leaders Upgrade COVID-19 Hospital Surge Plan

Governor Stitt and the state health department announced additions to the COVID-19 hospitalization surge plan. News 9’s Barry Mangold has the details.

Tuesday, July 21st 2020, 10:36 pm

By: News 9

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and Interim Health Commissioner Colonel Lance Frye announced additions to the state’s hospital surge plan Tuesday.

Five “flex centers” were added, Stitt said, in the event that additional hospital beds are needed.

“This adjustment increases our COVID-19 flex in the Oklahoma City metro area by 125%,” Stitt said.

The expansion comes as the number of patients hospitalized with the virus continues to climb.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 630 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The number of patients in a hospital bed has risen steadily since early June.

LaWanna Halstead, the Vice President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, said she’s heard from hospital administrators that are concerned of the trend in hospitalizations, yet capacities have not been capped.

“We are nearing 100% capacity, we are not at 100%,” Halstead said.

The surge plan will allow for 120 additional beds to be made available across six hospitals in the OKC area, and an additional 120 to be made at the Oklahoma State University Medical Center in Tulsa.

Everyone can help prevent hospitals from overcrowding, she said, by practicing safety practices like wearing a mask, keeping six feet between yourself and others, and washing your hands frequently.

“Help us make sure we don’t get into that incredibly difficult situation,” Halstead said.

Stitt commended doctors and nurses for their work treating COVID-19 patients thus far.

“These folks are really on the front lines, doing a tremendous job of helping Oklahomans.”


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