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COVID-19 Hospitalization rates could double by Jan. 1

Posted at 7:31 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 10:37:26-05

TULSA, Okla. — Recent COVID-19 hospitalization models have medical experts holding their breath.

As Oklahoma hospitals are already stretched to their limits, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations predicts the crisis is about to get a lot worse.

Hospital staff throughout the state are already working overtime to care for COVID patients. The latest models show how bad the crisis could get. The institute predicts Oklahoma will have twice as many COVID-19 hospitalizations by the first week of January.

About 10% of COVID patients are hospitalized. Of those, 1/3 of patients are admitted into the intensive care unit. Tulsa hospitals are already experiencing a shortage of ICU beds.

“If we get up to 3,000 admissions in Oklahoma with COVID-19, we’re going to have 1000 people who will need ICU level care,” said OU Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler.

Dr. Bratzler follows community transmission closely throughout the state. He said hospitals should prepare now for that surge.

“We still have a lot of communities who don’t have a mask mandate," Dr. Bratzler. "We still have most public venues that are open where transmission of the virus can occur. We still have a high number of people in the community who are actively infected at this time.”

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