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Health officials say coronavirus cases surge as flu season starts

Coronavirus COVID-19
Posted at 9:43 PM, Oct 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 13:34:28-04

With a record-high rise in COVID-19 cases over the weekend, officials are saying this could be a sign of things to come as we get into the winter months.

Between October 23rd and 24th, the United States saw a spike of nearly 84,000 new cases of COVID-19. This is highest spike reported since the pandemic hit the U.S.

Dr. Dale Bratzler, Chief COVID Officer for the University of Oklahoma said, "if you’re in any indoor event with lots of people and they’re not wearing masks you increase the risk of exposure.”

For the time being Oklahoma's COVID cases are peaking, with nearly 1,300 cases each day.

  • Hillcrest Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit is nearing 95% capacity for COVID-19 patients.
  • Saint Francis Health System is also worried about hospitalization spikes and staffing.

Dr. Bratzler told KJRH, “I think we could see it for a while unless we significantly change our behaviors.”

With families gathering for the holidays, it poses a risk for further transmission of COVID-19.

He said, if families don't practice mask-wearing and social distancing indoors then it's only a matter of time before the hospitals are overwhelmed with cases.

The Centers for Disease Control said flu hospitalizations peak between December and February, that is creating more fear for healthcare providers.

“If we don’t get people vaccinated this year, if we see people transmitting influenza on top of the surge of current COVID cases, our hospitals could get overwhelmed pretty quickly", Dr. Bratzler said.

To avoid contracting either viruses, Dr. Bratzler suggests wearing a mask, social distancing from others, avoiding large crowds, and spending as much time as possible outdoors.

He predicts hospitals will have to halt elective procedures for the extra staff when surges hit later this year.

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