Moore teacher fighting COVID-19 in hospital after waiting a day for an ICU bed

Coronavirus

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Friday night, Oklahoma shattered a new record of COVID-19 hospitalizations as hospitals continue to create surge plans.

A Moore Junior High teacher spoke with KFOR Friday from his hospital bed feeling thankful he was able to get in.

“A week ago my plans were to be at the OU football game Saturday night,” Scott Petete said.

However, as of Friday, Scott Petete still sits in a hospital bed relying on oxygen.

The 52-year-old Moore history teacher tested positive for COVID-19 and within days his oxygen levels were dropping fast.

“This my bed right here,” Petete said.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, beds are hard to come by. Scott tells KFOR he waited 24 hours before a COVID-19 ICU bed opened up at Norman Regional Healthplex.

“I had some rough days already, and I am sure there will be more rough days,” Petete said.

Oklahoma hospitals have been maxed out for weeks now, hovering around a 6 percent vacancy rate.

Friday night, only 53 beds are open across the entire state.

“The pipeline of new cases into the hospitals are bigger than people are getting to go home,” OU’s Chief COVID-19 Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler said.

According to Oklahoma’s Hospital Surge Map, Orange Tier Three covers over half the state.

“It is inevitable that hospitals will have to do more to make more capacity for COVID patients,” Dr. Bratzler said.

According to Gov. Kevin Stitt and Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye, eliminating elective surgeries could be up next.

“How quickly we get there or when do we get there, I don’t know, but there is a threshold,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye said.

Meanwhile Friday, Scott tells KFOR he’s not taking his bed for granted.

“I could be using two more machines right now, but I am only using one right now, but I will use the others tonight to get some rest,” Petete said.

Normal Regional released the following statement to KFOR:

“Bed capacity fluctuates by the hour, therefore Norman Regional Health System does not publically release the number of COVID patients who are currently hospitalized or its current hospital bed capacity. We continue providing this information to state health leaders and other hospital systems as we all work collaboratively to create capacity for all patients in need.

Our hospital units are busy caring for patients with COVID and patients with other health conditions. Our care teams are working tirelessly for our patients. Safety enhancements remain in place and we made the difficult decision to restrict most visitors for adult patients.

Our doctors, nurses and clinical care teams ask our neighbors and friends to help fight this pandemic by washing their hands, wearing a mask and remaining socially distanced from people living outside their homes. These measures have been recommended by the CDC to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

MELISSA HERRON, NORMAN REGIONAL SPOKESPERSON

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