COVID-19: Oklahoma, other US states run out of ICU hospital beds amid Delta strain surge

World Tuesday 03/August/2021 20:56 PM
COVID-19: Oklahoma, other US states run out of ICU hospital beds amid Delta strain surge
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Oklahoma : Amid a rapid surge in COVID-19 Delta cases and subsequent hospitalisations with an increasing number of them children, health experts in the US are pointing out that several states in the US like Oklahoma and Louisiana are running out of ICU hospital beds, including those in pediatric wards.

Apart from COVID, there has also been an increase of cases of respiratory syncytial virus(R.S.V), a highly contagious seasonal flu-like illness that is more likely to affect children and older adults, the New York Times reported recently. As per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma reported 8,746 deaths from COVID on Monday and reported 11,109 new confirmed and probable infections with over 2,000 of the cases among children. R.S.V cases have seen a spike in Texas, Florida, Louisiana too, said the NYT.

Local media cited officials as saying there were 739 Oklahomans hospitalized with COVID-19 on average over the past three days. Authorities also noted that there were 21 pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 included in that number.

According to a local ER doctor in Oklahoma, several ICUs across the metro were "maxed out or close to capacity" as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to soar, reported Fox News.

Hospital systems across the metro are once again on the brink of overflowing. "It caught me off guard," said INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center Emergency Room Physician, Dr Jason Benn.

"Because we had gotten to a point where it really felt like we were, we were winning and we were on top of it. We knew about the Delta variant and we knew that it was out there, I just didn't realize it would move as fast as it was going to," he said

Dr Benn says over the past month he had watched COVID beds in the ICU go from empty to completely maxed out almost every day this week, reported Fox News.

"Four weeks ago the census where I work was zero COVID patients in the hospital and now we're running about 18 to 20 a day," he warned, "That's a pretty rapid increase."

There was an outpouring on Twitter about the situation. "There are no ICU hospital beds available in the entire State of Oklahoma right now. ICU beds are maxed out," tweeted the user.

"The Hospital bed situation can change hourly. Oklahomans that need an ICU bed have to wait in the ER or be transferred to another hospital when one opens up." said a user.

"Oklahomans that need care at the hospital are still receiving it. The Oklahoma hospitals, health care workers, and first responders are dedicated and working hard to provide the care Oklahomans need and deserve," tweeted the user.

"17 deaths were today in Oklahoma, due to COVID, out of which 819 were new positive cases. The active cases are now up to 9,130. There is a significant uptick in hospitalization, 519, out of which 165 in the ICU," reported a local nurse.

Across the state, COVID hospitalizations have more than doubled in just the past two weeks. This, as new data, reveals the delta variant is about as contagious as chickenpox, with each infected person able to infect five to nine others, reported Fox News.

To help slow the spread, many health care workers are continuing to push Governor Kevin Stitt to re-declare the State of Emergency in Oklahoma.

Meanwhile in Louisiana, with over 2,000 infections today involving children considering the increase in COVID-19 cases, Governor John Bel Edwards has reissued the indoor mask mandate: "Let's rid ourselves of the notion, right now, that kids can't get COVID. We can't send children back into school unvaccinated & unmasked," he said.

When Gov John Bel Edwards lifted Louisiana's mask mandate at the end of April, he warned that loosening restrictions weren't a "one-way street" and that he would reimpose the rules if COVID-19 came roaring back.

On Monday, as hospitals statewide buckled under an unprecedented surge in patients, Edwards followed through on his word.

Schools, businesses, universities, churches, and any other indoor public settings in Louisiana will require a face mask for entry beginning on Wednesday, under a proclamation Edwards signed that expires September 1.

The three coronavirus vaccines available in Louisiana continue to provide immense protection against the delta variant. Those who are fully vaccinated are 25-times less likely to get hospitalized or die from COVID-19, and eight-times less likely to get infected in the first place, said Dr Joe Kanter, the state health officer.

But recent data suggest that unlike previous strains of COVID-19, when a fully vaccinated person gets infected with the delta variant, they can be just as contagious as unvaccinated people, reported The Advocate.

The delta variant has ripped through Louisiana in recent weeks, and hospitals state-wide are buckling under a tsunami of COVID-19 patients.

Hospitalizations soared on Monday to include 1,984 patients, and Edwards said that Tuesday's update will top the previous record set on Jan. 7, during the virus's third wave, when there were 2,069 people hospitalized. The vast majority of patients are unvaccinated, reported The Advocate.

Oklahama has had 486,232 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March of 2020. (