Several states surrounding Oklahoma are seeing a steep uptick in COVID cases. This will begin to affect hospitals in our state, as these surrounding areas become more pressed for available hospitals beds to send patients to. OKC and Tulsa metro areas are getting saturated with patients, which in turn makes it more difficult for us in Southwest Oklahoma to transfer patients requiring a higher level of care to those areas. According to our regional emergency response center, hospitals in OKC are beginning to see multiple calls a day from outside the state requesting available beds for patients needing care. Even our state children’s hospitals are often on divert, as RSV continues to spike in our area of the country.
All of this is concerning for our hospital and our community. None of our facilities (or communities) exist in a vacuum, and what happens in OKC and Tulsa will inevitably affect us here. Incident Command will begin looking at our hospital surge plan again, in an effort to be prepared in the event we see a resurgence of cases here in our area. In Comanche County, only 37% of the population has been fully vaccinated. We are seeing an increase in COVID-related hospitalizations, and the overwhelming majority of these are unvaccinated individuals.
We have also seen an increase in team member exposures from outside sources, and we encourage team members to not only get vaccinated, but also practice mitigation techniques, especially if you are not vaccinated. We would like to remind team members to not come to work if you are not feeling well, and seek testing. Masks are still required in the main hospital, clinics, offices, and anywhere interaction with others occurs at work.
If you have any COVID-related questions, please use the COVID team member hotline at ccmhCOVID19hotline@ccmhhealth.com. All team member exposure events should be reported to Incident Command, at email@example.com.