County leaders discuss COVID rise

·2 min read

Aug. 4—Though no formal action has been taken at the state or county level, Rogers County Commissioners say they're keeping a watchful eye on the rising COVID-19 cases.

"I'm getting a lot of phone calls from people wanting updates," said Commissioner Dan Delozier during the weekly Commissioners meeting. "Hospitals are filling up and it's definitely something we have to look at to see what we plan on doing. The numbers are growing drastically right now. There are people that think it's a joke but it's not a joke, there are people dying."

On August 3 the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported that roughly 14% of total staffed beds are occupied with COVID-positive patients (770 COVID-positive hospitalized out of 5,673 total staffed beds). Regarding ICU capacity, 130 of 804 staffed ICU beds (16%) are unoccupied.

Rogers County Emergency Management Director Scotty Stokes said it's a trend they're seeing mirrored at the county level.

"Our hospitals are packed; they are pretty inundated," Stokes said. "Now, we're hearing that some Tulsa hospitals aren't accepting some patients. I don't want to speak for them, but it seems like they're slowing down on accepting transfers of COVID-positive patients. So, we're transporting people out of state to receive treatment."

State data, last updated on July 28, showed a week-over-week increase of 8,112 confirmed cases, 31 deaths, and 394 hospitalizations in Oklahoma.

In Rogers County, as of July 28, there were 11,413 total cases, 197 deaths and 10,838 recovered cases.

During their regular meeting Monday, commissioners discussed the increased case numbers, the local vaccination rate, and the prospect of a state emergency declaration.

Recently, Commissioner Ron Burrows was featured in an Oklahoma Department of Health Facebook ad sharing his thoughts on vaccination: "There are a couple of reasons that I was anxious and looked forward to getting the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as I was able. First, I have a two-year-old grandson and I Was concerned about him getting it from me. There was not a lot of information about how the virus was affecting small children and I did not want to be isolated from hi for several weeks or months. Second, and equally important, was a couple of trips to see my dad who is 88 years old. I would never forgive myself if he got sick from me. I have faith in the medical professionals and the manufacturers that developed the vaccine all have an outstanding reputation, so I had no concerns about whether or not the vaccine would be safe and effective."

The commissioners did not vote to implement any COVID-related policies for the county, but said they are keeping an eye on the numbers and will continue to discuss it on a weekly basis.

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