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State health officials announce 'surge plan 3' as COVID-19 hospitalization rates spike

Posted at 8:10 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 21:10:02-04

TULSA, Okla. — State health officials are now revising their surge plan based on the growing number of COVID-19 cases. Governor Kevin Stitt unveiled the plan with the Oklahoma State Department of Health during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Officials announced that we are now in “surge plan three,” and hospitals will be categorized based on their capability to treat infected patients.

“This plan will only work with a strong working relationship with our state agencies,” said Patti Davis, president for the Oklahoma Hospital Association.

The state has outlined two types of hospitals: A “primary hospital,” one that can care for a COVID patient with no less than four liters of oxygen, and a “secondary hospital,” a hospital that has ICU capacity and specialized physicians to care higher level COVID patients.

“The overall goal is to keep the patient close to home within their region if that is all possible,” Davis said.

The new revisions also set “threshold percentages” for hospitals into a four tier system. Oklahoma is in tier one, meaning that 15% or less of hospital admissions are COVID patients. Tier two is between 15% and 19%, tier three is over 20%, and tier four is anything over 40%.

Each tier has specific guidelines for how hospitals should staff its facility and care for its patients.

Gov. Stitt is still reassuring the public that Oklahoma is prepared for a surge if it should happen.

“We have the capacity. We have the workers available to take care of COVID and non-COVID patients across the state,” Stitt said.

As cases continue to rise across the state, Davis is also urging people to stay vigilant. She is asking that everyone wear a mask, wash your hands, and continue to social distance.

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