More Pressure On Hospitals As Number Of COVID-19 Patients Reach Record Highs

Friday, November 6th 2020, 9:53 pm
By: Chinh Doan

TULSA, Okla. -

The Oklahoma State Department of Health said as of Friday, 1,045 COVID-19 patients are in Oklahoma hospitals and only 7% of ICU beds are available.

Friday's COVID-19 report wraps up another week of record-breaking numbers.

"Stand ready to support the areas that are filling up, and I know that they are," said LaWanna Halstead with the Oklahoma Hospital Association.

The Oklahoma Hospital Association helped update the state's COVID-19 four-tier surge plan that was rolled out two weeks ago.

Oklahoma City has reached Tier 3, and experts said they worry Tulsa could be next.

Halstead said in Tier 3, hospitals dig deeper into their own surge plan, open other spaces for beds, transfer patients to other hospitals and can choose to delay elective surgeries.

In Tier 3, the governor could also request the legislature to approve a Catastrophic Health Emergency, which would allow the National Guard to get involved.

"Nobody's asking for that right now,” said Halstead. “I mean, the hospitals are not asking for that, the legislature's not asking for that and the governor is not asking for that at this time."

Both Halstead and Dr. George Monks with the Oklahoma State Medical Association said data show wearing masks is the simplest way to help relieve pressure on hospitals.

"It's going to involve the whole community, the whole state, trying to change personal behavior,” said Monks. “We really need to have more cities, more communities with face mask mandates."

News On 6 checked in with Hillcrest, Saint Francis and Ascension St. John Hospitals about their bed availability and have not heard back.

You can learn more about the state's updated surge plan below.