Mercy ER stays busy as COVID cases rise in Southern Oklahoma

Mercy Hospital has locations in Ada, Ardmore and Tishomingo.
Mercy Hospital has locations in Ada, Ardmore and Tishomingo.
Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Mercy Ardmore’s ER director said they’ve seen a big increase of COVID cases lately. But it’s not a repeat of last year- Doctor Harold Claver said most of the covid patients are healthy enough to go home.

“We’ve definitely had a big uptick in covid cases in the past 4-6 weeks,” Claver said. “Prior to that we were really only seeing one or two cases a week. In the last 4-6 weeks we’ve seen more like 10-20 a day. The only good thing is that it seems like with this current wave, people aren’t’ getting nearly as sick. So while the volume has increased, the amount of patients we’re having to admit to the hospital hasn’t been nearly as bad.”

Chris Munn with the Oklahoma State Dept of Health says Southern Oklahoma is on track with the rest of the state.

“We’re seeing overall a slight increase in hospitalizations, however we are seeing a decrease in deaths,” Munn said. “Basically the most common variant is B-A 5. It’s easier to transmit from person to person but the illness is less severe.”

Munn said this is what doctors were expecting as coronavirus moves from a pandemic phase towards an endemic phase.

“Endemic means its established-Either through vaccination or natural immunity due to illness, the majority of the population has been exposed to it. So it’s not spreading through like a new virus, it’s gonna be more like the flu.”

Claver said inside the hospital, healthcare workers feel better than they did last year.

“From the emergency standpoint our staffing has been much better so we’ve been able to handle the current wave much better than previous ones,” Claver said.

But to get Southern Oklahoma out of high levels and back to low levels, Munn said to use common sense.

“Maintain your distance,” Munn said. “Probably the best way is to get vaccinated, stay home, get tested if you’re sick, and then take all the normal precautions, wash your hands, wear a mask.”

“It would be helpful to us if the community is going to large events where there’s lots of people to consider wearing a mask until we’re out of this high prevalence stage,” Claver said.

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