Gov. Stitt making changes to Oklahoma’s hospital surge plan

Gov. Stitt comments on expected visit by Dr. Birx

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Kevin Stitt is announcing changes to Oklahoma’s COVID-19 hospital surge plan on Thursday.

Stitt was joined by Commissioner of Health Lance Frye to go over the modifications in Oklahoma City.

Update on COVID-19 hospital surge plan

CORONAVIRUS IN OKLAHOMA: Gov. Stitt says he's making changes to Oklahoma's COVID-19 hospital surge plan. UPDATES >>> https://bit.ly/2XQrM75

Posted by FOX23 News on Thursday, August 6, 2020
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Officials said when metro hospitals in Tulsa and Oklahoma City reach 100 percent of staff capacity, they will expand to 340 surge beds.

One-hundred-twenty of those beds are at OSU Medical Center and the rest are in Oklahoma City.

Stitt says the state has made progress in the fight against COVID-19, including stockpiling personal protective equipment and running more than 680,000 tests.

He says they are continuing to hire more contact tracers.

Stitt’s office also announced plans earlier Thursday to allocate about $250 million in CARES Act to Oklahoma cities and counties based on their population.

The change is meant to allow for city and county governments to access coronavirus relief dollars faster and more efficiently.

“For the past two months, the State has closely followed guidance from the federal government in how to distribute critical Coronavirus Relief Funds to state agencies, cities and counties,” Stitt says.

“After working with and observing the fiscal impact of COVID-19 on local governments, I directed our team to streamline its reimbursement process and to deliver more flexibility for getting these critical funds out the door.”

The funding will be distributed based on a city or county’s population based on 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates with about $77 earmarked per capita.

The state received about $1.5 billion in relief funding with about $1.2 billion available as some $300 million was earmarked to cities and counties with populations of more than 500,000.