Oklahoma Prepares For COVID-19 Hospital Surge

Tuesday, July 21st 2020, 4:18 pm
By: News On 6


The state is adding 340 beds, which they call surge space, to hospital systems mainly in Oklahoma City and Lawton, thus, building capacity to handle the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

Tuesday, the State Health Commissioner and the Governor gave an update on the plan that involves reserving rooms in hospitals and doing some work to get them ready for COVID-19 care.

The surge plan calls for hiring contract nurses mainly to staff them, and all of this is not what is needed yet, but expected to be needed in some form.

Here in Tulsa, the OSU Medical Center is a surge hospital, handling overflow as the three main hospitals get more crowded with both COVID-19 patients and their regular patients.

Eric Polak with OSU Health Sciences Center said "the surge is real, it's happening, and we're seeing an increase in patients. OSU Medical Center is up to 21 patients as of this morning, who are COVID positive or under investigation, but we continue to bring on more resources--to activate more and more beds as the patient demand requires."

The state is confident they have plenty of masks and protective gear; including 2.5 million of the N-95 masks on hand as of July 21, 2020.