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GRADY COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) -Grady County health officials are putting out a dire warning after seeing a steep increase in COVID-19 cases. 

“We have very exhausted staff, very thin staff, and it’s like a perfect storm,” said CEO of Grady Memorial Warren Spellman. “We’re seeing high numbers of Omicron in cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma City. So we have to speculate as to how what the percentages out here in rural America.”

The hospital posted a message on Facebook warning residents if COVID cases continue to climb, the hospital will not have enough nurses and doctors.

Although cases are on the rise, state health officials told KFOR the state has not seen the surge other parts of the country have experienced with Omicron.

“We have lots of beds, but beds don’t do you any good without nurses to take care of you.”

That’s why Spellman wants residents to consider getting vaccinated. Oklahoma state health officials confirmed the presence of the highly contagious variant of COVID–Omicron.

“I don’t think we have seen the worst of this yet for some time. I think it’s very likely,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler. “The omicron variant is spreading so fast we might go through it very quickly.” 

According to Spellman, western Oklahoma is at a 43% vaccination rate. 

Although data has not proven how Omicron will affect unvaccinated people, health officials believe it’s the best defense to stop the surge.

“The vaccination, while it’s not perfect, it’s the best defense we have.”