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Tulsa hospitals push for the public to 'do their part'

Posted at 8:12 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 00:48:38-04

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma is experiencing record-breaking COVID-19 case numbers.

The OU Medical Center said in the past seven days, there have been 5,000 newly positive coronavirus cases.

Governor Kevin Stitt and Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith both tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Amid the growing concern, area hospitals are holding up but it's asking the public to do their part by not adding to the recent spike in cases.

"I said all along throughout this reopening that the most important metric for us to be tracking is hospital capacity," Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said.

Saint Francis Health System addressed their practitioner's concern within a statement, which in part said:

What is concerning are the daily increases in this specific patient population. For example, in early June we were experiencing a census of around 17 positive COVID patients per day within the health system, in early July that number was around 45. Last week we were running in the 60s and this week we are running in the high 80s.

Dale Bratzler, DO, MPH, OU Medicine Enterprise Chief Quality Officer said this uptick is visibly putting a strain on medical workers.

“Tulsa has seen a substantial increase in the number of people that are in the hospital in their intensive care units. So, I would argue that we are starting to strain hospital capacity at this point," Dr. Bratzler said.

Which is why Saint Francis System is urging the community to “flatten the curve again” in the recent statement they released to the public.

"...What will soon become unsustainable if we—as a region—are not able to flatten the curve again in our community," officials said.

Bynum said while there are still concerns, the community can help keep that and cases down.

"When you have the largest hospital in our community saying something like that, I hope that it raises enough concern," Bynum said. "If it continues at this rate, it is not sustainable for our hospitals, and that's exactly why I asked city council to implement a mask ordinance and why I am so thankful that they did."

You can read the full statement from Saint Francis Health System below.

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