OU covid officer concerned about rural virus surge

Okfuskee County had highest cases per capita during past week

By just about every measure, things have been trending the wrong way this week in Oklahoma, when it comes to Covid-19.

Everything from cases to hospitalizations to deaths has increased.

Dr. Dale Bratzler, the Chief Covid Officer at the OU School of Medicine, says he’s especially concerned about the surge in rural counties.

A prime example he says is Okfuskee County.

“That particular county has the highest rate on a popular incidence of Covid-19 of any county in Oklahoma,” Bratzler said.

He says even though rural areas are not densely populated, it’s still important for people to follow CDC guidelines if they go out in public to things like church or the grocery store.

That includes wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands.

He says rural hospitals are not as well-equipped to handle covid cases.

Hospitals in general are feeling the strain statewide.

The number of open ICU beds is down to 8-percent.

It was 13-percent just a week ago.

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