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Concern over Delta variant as COVID cases rise

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Posted at 9:22 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 07:04:47-04

TULSA, Okla.  — Doctors are calling on Oklahomans to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases are rising.

“We are now starting to experience the third wave of COVID here in Oklahoma," said Dr. George Monks, immediate past president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. "And it’s due to the Delta variant.”

Dr. Monks said there’s been a 90 percent increase in Oklahoma COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks. There are currently nearly 400 active cases here in Tulsa County.

“Cases are on the rise," Dr. Monks said. "The number of active cases is up. We’ve got almost 2,000 active cases here in Oklahoma. But also, hospitalizations are up, ICU admissions with COVID are up.”

Dr. Monks said the Delta variant is present in Oklahoma. He said it has twice the hospitalization rate. He said many surrounding states are starting to see an outbreak from it. And it’s just a matter of time before the Sooner State catches up.

“We’re probably three weeks behind what’s happening in Missouri," Dr. Monks said. "Which, in southwest Missouri, their hospitals are now full. They’re maxed out. The COVID beds, the COVID ICU beds are maxed out. They’re having to send people out of state.”

Dr. Monks said these new cases are mostly affecting unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people. He said those who have received one of two doses are only 33 percent protected from the Delta variant while fully vaccinated people are 90 percent protected.

As we head into a holiday weekend, he’s encouraging everyone to get the vaccine.

“Know who you’re hanging out with because if you’re not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated and you’re around larger crowds indoors, you really need to be wearing a mask and socially distancing," Dr. Monks said.

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