OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma state health department is addressing the rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the demand for treatments.

“We are all ready for this pandemic to end so we can return to our normal routines, the current surge is the last thing any of us wanted to go through a time when we were hoping to be at the end of this pandemic,” said OSDH Interim Commissioner of Health Keith Reed. 

As the omicron variant continues to keep its hold on Oklahoma, Reed says hospitals and health leaders are feeling the impact.

“Our message is to Oklahomans is that there is real risk with COVID – specifically if you’re unvaccinated or immunocompromised, and we have enough of those individuals in the state that there can be a real strain on our hospital system,” he said. “It’s going to be tough for a couple weeks, maybe even a little longer and I think that’s important to note.”

Reed says the state is constantly working to acquire more monoclonal antibody and antiviral treatments, but the types most effective against the omicron variant are in short supply and are reserved for high-risk patients who already have COVID-19.

“Every week they are sending out everything that is out there,” he said.

Reed says there is some hope on the horizon as the federal government prepares to send free at-home testing kits.

However, there’s currently no way to report positive at-home test results.

“It’s important to understand that daily case counts become less and less reliable as the key indicator of the pandemic’s impact,” said Reed. 

Reed is encouraging Oklahomans to take the precautions we’ve become so familiar with over the last nearly two years.

“We are a strong resilient state and we ask Oklahomans to tap into that reserve once again,” Reed said. “Stay strong Oklahoma, this will pass.”

Reed says he’s talked to hospital leadership and they have yet to find any needs that would be addressed by declaring a state of emergency.

However, they do encourage healthcare systems to let them know what they need.