Holt: COVID cases rising in the metro as hospitals run out of ICU beds

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As hospitals continue to struggle with the increased number of COVID-19 patients, cases have spiked in the metro.

In recent days, Oklahoma City has seen a dramatic rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases.

At this point, Oklahoma City is recording around 800 new cases per day and there are more than 400 people in local hospitals with COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the state’s four major hospital systems confirmed that there are no ICU beds available.

“I mean, it’s obviously very disappointing because we wanted to think this was behind us but the delta is so contagious that it’s just ripping through the unvaccinated population in the city and it’s just causing these numbers to skyrocket. You said it already, 800 new cases per day in Oklahoma City, nearly 500 hospitalizations, and that’s really the challenge. That’s how it affects vaccinated and unvaccinated people alike is what it’s doing to our hospitals. You might feel as I do, that I’m pretty safe from COVID-19 being vaccinated, but I better not break my arm. I better not have any sudden medical condition that requires me to go to a hospital because they’re at their wits’ end. So I just think it’s really important that everybody be aware of that. They actually understand that a week ago, we looked like our numbers were plateauing and suddenly they spiked upward, basically a surge upon a surge. And we’ve all got to kind of increase our level of caution in the next few weeks as we try to get more people vaccinated,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says 2.1 million Oklahomans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 1.7 million are considered fully vaccinated.

Last month, Holt announced that Oklahoma City’s vaccination rate was higher than most places across the state.

On Aug. 28, 72.6% of eligible Oklahoma City residents have received at least a first dose, while 59.8% of all eligible residents are fully vaccinated.

“That’s the good news; we’re seeing a lot of people come in to get vaccinated and we’re actually ahead of the national averages on several key numbers, but they’re all first shots. We don’t have people who are fully vaccinated yet. We’re kind of coming late to that so October and November when people are fully vaccinated, we could have a much better situation but we’ve got to get through September. And so for that, I ask people, and I said this in my press conference on Tuesday, get vaccinated. Obviously, go to Vaxokc if you’re not. And secondly, let’s wear a mask in certain indoor situations, vaccinated or unvaccinated. Bring these transmissions down so we can bring these hospitalizations down and that benefits all of us. So wear your mask, use it in a common sense way, indoor situations around other people,” said Holt.

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