Oklahoma COVID-19 Update

Sunday, August 22nd 2021, 10:28 pm
By: Hunter McKee


As Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, health officials warn of the impact this could have on the coming weeks.

According to the state's epidemiology and surveillance report, between August 8th and the 14th. There's been over 15,000 new cases reported, which is a 10-percent increase from the week prior. The state has also seen over 80 deaths.

One doctor says as of Friday, over 1,300 people were hospitalized with Covid-19.

"The healthcare system is being overwhelmed and so we are at the same public health message which is we need to flatten the curve again," said Dr. Aaron Wendelboe, and OU Health Epidemiologist.

Officials say doctors, nurses, and support staff are burning out and quitting their jobs, leaving fewer healthcare workers to pick up the pieces.

"This affects the number of people that can be treated in our hospitals," Wendelboe said.

Wendelboe says he uses a model which can detect the transmission rate of the virus throughout the state. He says in June, the model showed that on average each person with Covid would infect two other people, but now it's doubled to four.

"We're talking about people's lives, we're talking about hospitalizations and people dying," Wendelboe says. "This is really tragic."

But as cases increase, many health professionals hope vaccinations will too.

As of August 16th, just over 41-percent of Oklahomans were fully vaccinated and over 50-percent have at least one dose. However, health officials say we still have a long way to go.

"I would say we actually need to get up closer to 85-percent vaccination in order to really make that huge difference," Wendelboe says.