COVID-19 Cases Climb In Some Rural Areas; Families Mourn Loss Of Loved Ones

Monday, January 18th 2021, 6:14 pm

Chelsea Mock is mourning the loss of her uncle.

“He was a good Christian, loving man," said Mock.

Her uncle Barry Foster, a former high school football coach from Rush Springs, died on Saturday from complications of COVID-19. Mock said her uncle retired a few years ago, but made an impact on so many kids and will be greatly missed. Foster first went into the hospital only a week ago.

“They ended up admitting him Monday evening sometime at Chickasha,” said Mock. “Wednesday he got a room at Mercy to get better care."

Foster is now one of almost 3,000 Oklahomans to lose their battle with COVID-19, about two-thirds of them outside of Tulsa and Oklahoma Counties. OU Health's Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler fears based on ICU data, that number unfortunately will increase.

"People that are that sick, people that have COVID, have to be hospitalized, have to be put in an intensive care unit bed, sadly have fairly high mortality rates," said Bratzler.

Bratzler said data also shows the virus is spreading in all corners of the state, with some other rural areas seeing spikes right now. In Carter County in south central Oklahoma, a quarter of all COVID-19 infections there have happened in the past week.

Bratzler said this is a good reminder that while immunizations are promising, the virus is still here in Oklahoma.

“There's still substantial community spread," said Bratzler.