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State, hospital leaders give update on bed capacity, hospital surge plan

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Oklahoma surge plan not yet implemented, bed capacity remains steadily available for patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Commissioner of Health, Dr. Lance Frye, along with CEOs of hospital systems across Oklahoma, provided an update today on overall hospital capacity and plans for managing statewide bed availability moving forward, including an updated surge plan put together by hospital leadership.

“Our health care workers have done an incredible job responding to this historic pandemic, and thanks to the leadership of our hospitals and Commissioner Frye at the Department of Health, we continue to have the capacity to treat COVID-19 patients,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “Our health care professionals are the experts, but if the time comes when our hospitals need the assistance, the State stands ready to implement a surge plan and provide support. In the meantime, we need Oklahomans to continue to take COVID-19 seriously, especially as we enter the holiday season, by washing your hands, watching your distance and wearing a mask when around others.”

Hospital leadership and state health officials have determined that until the state reaches 1,135 hospitalized COVID-19 patients for three consecutive days, facilities can continue normal operations such as elective surgeries. As of this morning, there were 821 people hospitalized in Oklahoma due to COVID-19.

“We are closely monitoring hospital capacity and working with our hospitals to ensure they have the resources they need to give the best quality care to all Oklahomans,” said Commissioner Frye. “There are a lot of factors that can influence data on any given day, including ICU beds being used by patients with ailments unrelated to COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation closely to see if state assistance is required. The state has options it can employ if hospitalization capacity continues to shrink, however we want Oklahomans to know we are not

at a point where anyone should be concerned they could not access a hospital if-needed due to COVID-19.”

The surge plan, put together by leaders and experts in the statewide hospital system, includes four tiers. Each tier automatically triggers certain required actions from hospitals and the state.

Tiers are based on a combination of bed capacity percentage and total number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide. Details on the tiers and triggers will be posted on the OSDH coronavirus website for the public to view.

“The state’s updated surge plan reflects the combined efforts of experts who are managing hospital capacity issues on a daily basis,” said Matt Stacy, OSDH Surge Plan Advisor. “We believe this plan puts the state in a better position to take action when it is most needed, depending on the level of statewide capacity and total number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”

Hospital leadership, including Jim Gebhert, CEO of Mercy Health, and Patti Davis, president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, also shared updates on efforts to manage overall statewide capacity levels and bed availability.

“Many factors influence our capacity on any given day, including transferring of patient location, non-COVID-19 cases requiring ICU beds and ongoing fluctuations in elective surgeries, making it difficult to consistently reflect our needs,” said Gebhert. “However, our hospitals are committed to working together and with the state to make sure Oklahomans are taken care of throughout this pandemic.”

For the most recent updates on Coronavirus in Oklahoma, visit


Last Modified on Dec 04, 2020
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