OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – The Healthier Oklahoma Coalition said more people being tested for COVID-19 are testing positive. Out of those patients, many of them are having to be treated in a hospital.
“Fewer admissions overall, but a higher percentage of people with a positivity test are getting admitted,” said Dr. David Kendrick, CEO of My Health Access Network. “So, it’s a smaller pond but there are more frogs in it.”
The Healthier Oklahoma Coalition said the virus is still sending people to the hospital. Doctors said sometimes the patients are staying in the hospital for up to five days.
Doctors said they’re keeping an eye on the patients 40 to 60 years-old, and patients older than 65.
“Where the admission rates are approaching 40-50 and in the 65 and up group, One hundred percent of those admissions reported to me were unvaccinated,” said the doctor.
The coalition said Northeast Oklahoma communities are being hit with the Delta variant. They said the strain packs more of a punch than others.
“You get some symptoms, not too bad,” said Dr. Sam Ratermann, President of the Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians. “Then all of a sudden, it hits you really fast.”
Doctors said while the number of people getting a COVID-19 test may be down, many of those who did get tested are already suffering from symptoms.
“Patients are arriving sicker. When they get to our doors they’re sicker and at a higher level of care,” said Dr. Kendrick. “Basically, all the places we’re testing, we’re finding cases. So, we’re kind of back to the early days of testing, in terms of everywhere we look we were finding positive cases.”
Doctors said that’s all the more reason to get the vaccine.
“I got my first vaccine the weekend it was available. It was painful for about a day, but it wasn’t too bad,” said Cooper Dennis-Smith.
The 14 year old said he’s urging other teens his age to get the shot. Dennis-Smith said he begged his parents to let him get the vaccine when it was his age group’s turn.
“Because it is a very dangerous kind of world that we’re living in for people who are not protected in this way,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state’s Pandemic Lab is conducting genomic testing. But, some doctors have criticized the lab for not doing more. At one point, Oklahoma ranked 50th in the nation for testing specimens for variants.