Despite Continued Stress On Resources, Hospitals Experiencing Decline In COVID Patients

Friday, October 15th 2021, 4:54 pm
By: Erica Rankin


Four major health systems in the metro decided to halt their weekly reporting of bed capacity this week. This came as cases and hospitalizations continue to decline in Oklahoma.

Dr. David Chansolme with Integris Health said they have seen a decline in admissions in the past two to three weeks, but he said there is still a lot of strain on the system.

"Hospitalizations are 51.6% lower than peak hospitalizations at 1,149," state commissioner of health Dr. Lance Frye said.

Dr. Frye said cases are also down by about 58% than at the peak on Aug. 30, but doctors said they aren't breathing a sigh of relief just yet.

"Before we had some days, there were 25 to 30 holds in the emergency room waiting for a bed to open up," Dr. Chansolme said. "That strain has lessened a little bit -- but as far as floor nurses and resources like respiratory therapists, physical therapy, speech therapy -- those resources are still pretty maxed out.”

If another surge in cases were to happen, Dr. Chansolme said they would still have to be prepared for one.

"I would love to say, ‘Oh, COVID is over, and this isn't going to happen to us again,’” Dr. Chansolme said. "But it has already happened to us. It is the third surge now. As we come up on November and December, now is the time we need to be putting sand in the sandbags and being ready to deploy them when the storm hits again, if it does hit again."

Dr. Chansolme said the best way to prepare is through continuing to push vaccinations.

"I can't tell you how many patients that were in the hospital who were in the middle of a vaccination series during the surge and ended up hospitalized," Dr. Chansolme said. "Go get your vaccine now."

Across the state, there are just under 800 Oklahomans in the hospital with COVID. About 250 of them are in intensive care units.