The second wave of COVID-19 has arrived in Oklahoma as positive cases and deaths continue to break new records.
Employees inside the emergency room at Integris Baptist Medical Center can tell you that firsthand. Exhausted medical workers nationwide are buckling up for what may be to come.
“It is scary for the medical workers that are coming to work every day,” said Dr. Chelsey Gilbertson. “But it’s scary for everyone just a community and non-medical representatives as well.”
Months have passed since COVID-19 first arrived in the Sooner State. The comparison to now, ER doctors say, isn’t good.
“What we are seeing is definitely worse,” said Gilbertson. “We are seeing higher acuity patients so were seeing a higher volume of patients present and the patients that are here are much more sick.”
What has changed about this surge, compared to last, is tools available for treatment. Integris doctors said they have what they need to treat patients safely.
“We have an amazing group in the supply chain that was worked to secure PPE and other resources for us, amazing respiratory colleagues that have secured ventilators and other oxygen resources that we need. So, I do feel safe with where we are today,” said Gilbertson.
The focus going forward isn’t beds, Integris officials said. It’s the men and women caring for those who need them.
“The people are tired, and the people are our most valuable recourse at this point. So, we really have to protect each other and the wellbeing of our caregivers,” said Gilbertson.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Integris officials asked the public not to come to the ER unless necessary. It actually caused some people who needed attention not to come.
Integris officials now tell the public, do not hesitate to show up if you need medical care.