Report ranks Oklahoma fourth in U.S. for most COVID-19 hospitalizations

TULSA, Okla. — Coronavirus-related hospitalizations reached a record high in the state of Oklahoma this week with 956 people currently hospitalized and of those, 313 are in ICU.

President of Oklahoma State Medical Association, George Monks, said Thursday Oklahoma is fourth in the nation for most COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

The tweet included an article that listed South Dakota, Montana, Arkansas and Oklahoma as the top four states with the highest hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

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There are just 82 ICU beds available statewide, according to data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The president of the Oklahoma State Hospital Association said the state needs to release ICU and COVID-19 bed availability.

Oklahoma has set record hospitalizations five days this month, all of them in the past week.

Matt Stacy, who works with the Oklahoma State Department of Health as a surge plan advisor said Oklahoma City is the only region in “Tier 2”, which means some additional actions will take place at the hospitals according to their internal surge plans:

  • They will have to transfer lower acuity patients to rehab and special focus facilities to create more bed capacity in the higher acuity hospital setting.
  • Additional staffing can be brought in to bring more rooms online
  • They may choose to selectively decrease some elective procedures

Stacey said the hospitals do have additional bed space and the tiers create an agreed-upon response amongst them to help evenly distribute patients across the various hospital systems.

The state has not renewed their surge bed contracts, which expired last month.