When the federal government kicked off Operation Warp Speed, the program to administer vaccines, it allowed states to build their own plans. These plans created priority groups, and then sorted those into phases. For example, Oklahoma’s frontline health care workers who treat COVID-19 patients became the first priority group, and composed Phase one. Phase two includes several groups, such as Oklahomans over the age of 65 and health workers not treating COVID-19.
As Oklahoma rounds out the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, residents have come to expect post-holiday spikes in case counts. After every major holiday, such as the Fourth of July and Labor Day, daily new cases of the virus doubled statewide.
Despite full ICUs and record-breaking case counts, state officials have maintained that Oklahoma’s coronavirus situation is tenable and requires little new action. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports that a coalition of health professionals are starting to speak for themselves.
As Oklahoma attempts to manage its third coronavirus wave, state officials have pitched a controversial tool to address the state’s health worker shortage: allowing infected nurses, physicians and staff to keep working.
As the demand for intensive care among Oklahoma’s coronavirus patients continues to surge, the system is seeing strain from beginning to end — from ambulance services, to small-town hospitals, to the state’s metro health systems.
As intensive care units run out of capacity and hospital administrators ring alarm bells, the Stitt administration has maintained that hospital capacity is not under threat, and that messaging otherwise is a tactic to scare Oklahomans.
For the past several days, Oklahoma’s coronavirus hospitalizations have surpassed 1,000, and its statewide ICU capacity has dropped below 10 percent. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney has the latest on what officials are doing to address the worsening COVID-19 situation.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s plan to move the state public health laboratory is getting more criticism. A national lab association is raising concerns about the interim facility and uprooting the lab during a pandemic.
Over the past six months, we’ve gotten pretty familiar with terms we hadn’t heard regularly before, like contact tracers and infectious disease intervention specialists. But they’re not new. Before the coronavirus, many of Oklahoma’s workers in that sector had their eye on another disease: syphilis.