OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As case counts climb and hospitals are pushed to the max, could we be reaching a peak in this COVID-19 surge and may relief be in sight?
Oklahoma health experts are hopeful we’re nearing the light at the end of the tunnel but say it’s harder than ever to know exactly where we stand.
“Our hospitals are strained more than they’ve ever been and we’re doing our very best,” said Dr. George Monks, with the Oklahoma State Medical Association.
Healthcare workers are pushed to the brink and are hoping to see relief soon.
Earlier this month, it was predicted Oklahoma would hit a peak this week with 80,000 cases per day – including those who are asymptomatic or don’t get tested.
With long waits for tests and results, and the number of people getting at-home tests, it’s hard to know exactly how many cases we have and if we’ve hit that peak.
“There’s been a lot of speculation about those numbers,” said Keith Reed, Interim Commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health. “Is it for every one positive case, you have maybe three that aren’t reported? I’ve heard that estimate to go all the way up to eight more that aren’t reported. It’s a really wide range, and I haven’t seen anything that is really dependable.”
One thing experts can look at though is cases in other states.
“If you look at what’s happening in Oklahoma, we’re about 7-10 days behind what’s happening in New York and New York has already peaked so I think it’s happening soon for us,” Monks said.
The number they’re most worried about is hospitalizations, which peak around two weeks after cases.
“So we’re still a few weeks away from hospitalizations peaking and we’re as strained as we’ve ever been as far as the hospital situation,” said Monks.
One way medical experts have repeatedly asked folks to help is to stop showing up at the already crowded ERs just for a COVID-19 test.
“There’s patients waiting for hours and sometimes days to get the bed that they need in the hospital,” Monks said. “We’re just absolutely full in Oklahoma and we’re not to the peak of the hospitalizations yet. I’m worried. We’re going to have a tough couple of weeks ahead of us.”
Doctors still emphasize the best way to help protect yourself and your neighbors is to get your COVID-19 vaccines and booster.