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Four Oklahoma Health Systems Come Together To Provide a Situation Update on COVID-19

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Four Oklahoma Health Systems Come Together To Provide a Situation Update on COVID-19

COVID-19 cases, fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant and a low vaccination rate, have pushed Oklahoma City hospitals to capacity. Hospital leaders are asking Oklahomans to wear their masks and get vaccinated in order to slow the surge of hospitalizations.

“Our healthcare providers simply cannot keep going at the current pace,” said OU Health Chief Quality Officer Dale Bratzler, D.O., MPH. “People are in the hospital for many conditions other than COVID-19, but the continued rise in hospitalizations for COVID-19 is threatening the availability for everyone seeking our services.”

The number of new COVID-19 infections has risen dramatically in Oklahoma. In the past week, there have been 15,490 new infections reported in Oklahoma, which is an increase of 10% over last week. One thousand three hundred and ninety two (1,392) people with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized in Oklahoma, and 369 are in the ICU. There have been 131 deaths because of COVID-19 in the past week.

Virtually all of the hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 are among people who are unvaccinated, Bratzler said. The majority of infections are caused by the Delta variant, which is much more contagious than past versions of COVID-19. Because Oklahoma’s overall vaccination rate remains below 50% and mask-wearing has decreased significantly, the Delta variant has been able to spread rapidly, he said.

On many days over the past few weeks, Oklahoma City’s largest hospitals have not had a single bed available, said Bahar Malakouti, M.D., neurohospitalist and Stroke Medical Director at Mercy Hospital. Patients crowd emergency rooms waiting for beds to open up, while their conditions deteriorate because they don’t have access to the level of care they need, she said.

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