OU’s Chief COVID Officer said the Tulsa region may soon move up levels on the state’s hospital surge plan tier system.
Dr. Dale Bratzler said it appears Oklahoma is in a new peak of COVID-19 infections in Oklahoma and that could be concerning for some hospitals.
The Tulsa region remains in Tier 1 of the state’s hospital surge plan meaning less than 15% of beds are for COVID-19 patients. The Oklahoma City region is at Tier 3 – meaning between 20 – 39% of beds have COVID-19 patients.
As part of Tier 3, hospitals have the option to reduce elective procedures by 50%.
Bratzler said it is “likely” that Tulsa will also reach Tier 3 if COVID-19 infections don’t slow down soon. He also said with so many people in the ICU, we will likely, continue to see deaths.
“Clearly the pandemic continues,” said Bratzler. “We are not out of the woods by any means. We’re seeing substantial community spread of the virus. The number of new cases has gone up substantially and the percentage of tests positive is very high right now so we’re going to continue to see fairly high case counts.”
There is some positive news on the vaccine front on Monday though.
Pfizer announced that their vaccine appears to be 90% effective and it could get it approved in the next two weeks.