The Oklahoma State Medical Association said that 1,600 healthcare workers across the state have been infected with COVID-19 since February.
The association also reports the virus has taken the lives of 6 Oklahoma healthcare workers, including a nurse in Tulsa.
Family of Aimee Williams said she worked at Hillcrest Medical Center until she had COVID-19 symptoms and died from the complications.
According to the GoFundMe, which appears to have been set up by her husband Danny Williams, the nurse cared for patients at Hillcrest until she was hospitalized for COVID-19 in April. She was then transferred to Oklahoma City and died on Saturday.
At Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing, Tulsa mayor GT Bynum reminded the community the impact of the pandemic.
"She was a mom of a young son, a wife, and she was in her mid-40s," said Bynum.
Danny Williams shared a photo of his wife and him holding hands on July 18 with the caption that his wife is "with the angels now."
Oklahoma State Medical Association president Dr. George Monks said the death or infection of each healthcare worker impacts everyone.
"One thing I want people to know is a hospital bed is useless unless you have staff to go with it, and so we've had a shortage even before COVID hit our state," said Dr. Monks.
Dr. Monks works in Tulsa and said data shows Oklahoma is heading in the wrong direction. He worries healthcare workers throughout the state are now more at risk than ever. He stresses for everyone to take CDC guidelines seriously and calls on the governor to issue a statewide mask mandate.
"Because number one: It would save lives. Number two: It would help healthcare workers who are under a tremendous amount of stress for these patients. And number three: It would help businesses, keep them from going bankrupt," said Dr. Monks.
Hillcrest issued this statement to News On 6:
“The loss of Aimee Williams is a great tragedy for her loved ones and her hospitalist and Hillcrest families. At this time, we wish to respect the family’s request for privacy, allowing them time to grieve.”