COVID Hospitalizations On Rise Again In State, Health Officials Say

Wednesday, December 1st 2021, 6:37 pm


Doctors have said a common theme for people in hospitals the majority of the time is vaccination status.

"You know that we have seen an increase in hospitalizations as of this morning. We have 482 Oklahomans in the hospital with COVID-19," said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Health's chief COVID-19 officer. "One hundred fifty-one of whom were in an intensive care unit bed."

Specifically at SSM Health St. Anthony, officials said they've seen a 62% increase in hospitalizations just in the last week.

"We have been seeing very consistently about a third of patients who are positive and end up in the hospital with COVID-19 end up in an intensive care unit bed," said Bratzler.

The first case of the newest variant of concern, Omicron, was identified in California on Wednesday.

"I think it is way too early to know how severe disease may be with this particular variant, and I want to remind people that age is the biggest predictor in bad outcomes with COVID-19," Bratzler said.

Bratzler said now is the time to get vaccinated or boosted if you are eligible, especially those ages 65 and over.

"I think now for me this has highlighted the importance of a booster," said Bratzler. "None of us should have ever expected that a priming series of the vaccine would protect us against for life and now we know if you are fully vaccinated, breakthrough cases happen because vaccine immunity wains over time."

Pfizer has asked for emergency use authorization for its booster dose for those 16 and 17. Bratzler expects it to get clearance.