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Local health officials worry about limited staff, hospital beds amid pandemic

Posted at 7:00 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 20:00:04-04

TULSA, Okla. — Limited staff and COVID-19 hospital beds are growing concerns for local health officials. This as cases and hospitalization rates continue to climb statewide.

A stark assessment Monday as 2 Works for You learned the Tulsa Health Department doesn’t have funds to pay for nurses to operate a COVID-19 surge facility if needed.

City officials are expected to address the issue with the Oklahoma State Department of Health this week. This comes as Hillcrest Medical Center said its ICU is 90-95% capacity with both COVID and non-COVID patients.

Meanwhile, Saint Francis Health System said it's also concerned about the lack of staff and growing hospitalization rates. Officials said they will soon be unable to take in more patients.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum shared his concerns on the growing strain on regional health care facilities and providers.

“If and when we would ever need to use that, having a bunch of beds is useless if you don’t have the nursing and doctor staff to treat the people in them,” Bynum said.

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