As a result of a concerning increase in COVID-19 cases, Mercy Hospital Ardmore leaders are urging the community to continue taking COVID-19 seriously and follow all recommended guidelines to prevent further spread.
Mercy has seen more cases than ever in the last 30 days, and the number of hospitalized COVID patients has more than doubled. For example, the hospital had 10 COVID-19 patients on Oct. 8. Today, the COVID-19 patient census is 24.
“The increase in community spread has put a real strain on our staff and resources,” said Dr. Pam Kimbrough, vice president of medical affairs at Mercy Hospital Ardmore. “We are committed to continuing to provide high quality care for every patient that needs us, but we are concerned about the trend we are seeing, especially as we head into the holiday season.”
Mercy Hospital Ardmore routinely operates at or near capacity. Mercy leaders are in frequent, daily communication with hospitals and other health care facilities across the region to manage bed availability and transfer patients when medically appropriate. However, the influx of patients with COVID-19 and other illnesses has created long waits in the ER and holds on admissions into the hospital. This has also caused a strain on Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service and other transport services transferring patients to other facilities.
“This has been a difficult year for everyone, but we need our neighbors and community members to join us in a renewed commitment to social distancing, wearing a mask, not gathering with large groups, getting a flu shot and hand washing,” said Daryle Voss, president of Mercy Hospital Ardmore.
There are numerous publications and research studies supporting the use of mask wearing to reduce the spread of droplet-borne viruses like COVID-19. The average reduction of spread is about 80%. Masks should be worn primarily to protect others from droplets expelled by coughing, sneezing and talking. However, there are also clear benefits to the wearer of the mask.
“If our infection rate continues at the current trajectory, there is no doubt our local business community will be affected by our ability to go to work or send our kids to school,” Voss said. “Please do not wait for the government to mandate mask wearing. Instead, we ask for your support in doing everything in your power to slow the spread of this very real virus.”