TULSA, Okla. — As COVID cases continue to rise in Oklahoma because of the omicron variant, hospitals are concerned about capacity.
The chief of staff at OSU Medical Center tells 2 News they are feeling a strain about the same, if not worse than previous COVID surges.
“It might feel like everything has kind of gone back to normal and this is our new normal, but it doesn’t feel normal here at OSU Medical Center," Dr. Chuck Thurman, OSU Medical Center Chief of Staff said.
OSU Medical Center is reporting that they are at full capacity with 30 COVID patients. This is leading to issues in the emergency room.
“We’re on ER hold. That means people that are waiting for a room and can’t get one and it can go over one shift into a second shift, multiple hours of waiting," Dr. Thurman said. "It’s not typical for our hospital to have that. Usually we have really good through put.”
The difference in this surge compared to previous ones is more staff members are leaving their jobs.
“Our regular staff could have to get anywhere from 55 to 60 additional shifts,” said Dr. Thurman.
Besides the staffing shortage, the hospital also doesn’t have enough testing supplies with only a 2 to 3 day supply.
“We don’t even have enough tests to test universally like we would have done previously," he said. "We’re having to save it to only test the ones that the physicians order a test on.”
While many people are tired of hearing about the pandemic, Dr. Thurman says it’s not over yet.
“We have to just kind of refocus our efforts for the good of all of us and support our health care out there,” Dr. Thurman said.
He says you can support healthcare workers by following the preventive measures, getting the vaccine and booster shots.
2 News checked with other hospitals in Tulsa.
Hillcrest says they have seen an increase in COVID hospitalizations but it is not the majority of what they are seeing. They say their capacity issues are a mix of COVID and other conditions.
Saint Francis tells 2 News very little has changed from their update last week when they were starting to utilize hallways for patients. Ascension Saint John was unable to comment.
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