“It’s like the elephant in the room,” Doctors urge caution as COVID-19 cases rise in Oklahoma again

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma health leaders are urging caution once again as recent reports show COVID-19 cases rising in our state.

This comes as today the FDA issued authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for all adults.

“It’s like the elephant in the room, we wish it wasn’t there but it is there and it’s never left,” said Dr. George Monks, former President of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. 

“I think we need to be very cautious,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, Chief COVID-19 officer with OU Health.

Two of Oklahoma’s leading doctors are reminding Oklahomans of the threat of COVID-19.

“In Oklahoma, about 10 days ago we got down to about 560 new cases per day but yesterday we were back up to 842 cases per day,” Bratzler said. “So there’s been a substantial increase in the number of cases in Oklahoma.”

Dr. Dale Braztler – OU Health’s Chief COVID officer says those cases are only the ones being reported.

He believes there are more cases out there presenting mild or no symptoms – not to mention at-home COVID-19 test results that aren’t included in these numbers.

“In the models we’ve developed, we pretty much assume that there are about four infected people for every person who tests positive for COVID-19,” Bratzler said.

Monks says he believes the COVID winter surge is here.

“I think many of us have become more relaxed with COVID, thinking maybe we were done with it, we ran out the clock. We don’t have to worry about it but time and time again, this thing keeps coming back,” said Monks.

Both doctors – encouraged, though, by the authorization of the two MRNA boosters for all adults.

“I think that’s important because even younger people who were fully vaccinated, they were seeing their antibody levels drop off and were susceptible to breakthrough infections,” Bratzler said.

Dr. Bratzler says if everyone at your Thanksgiving gathering is fully vaccinated you should feel more comfortable ditching the masks.

He still encourages people to wear them in busy indoor public settings.

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