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Forecast: Oklahoma may hit 80,000 COVID-19 cases per day this month

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma rise to alarming numbers, a new forecast suggests the worst may still be ahead of us.

Projection from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that daily cases in our state could peak on January 19 at 80,000 cases per day, including those who are not being tested.

Right now, you probably know at least one person with COVID-19 or someone who has been affected.

“It’s an unscientific way of saying that so many friends are telling you, ‘Hey, I’ve got COVID,'” said Dr George Monks of the Oklahoma State Medical Association.

“I think we are going to have a rough two to three weeks,” said OU COVID Director, Dr Dale Bratzler.

Two of Oklahoma’s top doctors are keeping a close eye on the science and the numbers, especially a new forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

It shows our state’s daily cases may peak on January 19 at 80,000 cases per day, both tested and untested, reported and not.

“We had 10,000 cases on Saturday and my bet is that there were about 30,000 cases that could have been positive at the time so the big numbers don’t surprise me too much,” Bratzler said.

Doctors are concerned because it means more Oklahomans will be hospitalized, possibly doubling our previous record of nearly 2,000, set around this time last year.

“These new projections suggest we will need 4,440 COVID beds, and 1,332 of those will be ICU beds for COVID patients,” Monks said. “It’s a tremendous strain on an already strained hospital system.”

“I think we’re going to see more people in the hospital because while the virus isn’t virulent, it’s pretty bad in people who haven’t been vaccinated,” Bratzler said. “So we will still see people arriving in the hospital.”

While omicrons are predicted to decline rapidly after rapid spread, doctors say Oklahoma’s low vaccination rates may slow that decline.

“Time is running out,” Monks said. “But if you can at least get one shot or complete a booster, that can really save you from having to go to the hospital and keep you and your family safe.”

Dr Bratzler said he believes 3-4 out of 100 people you meet today are likely infected and urged people to avoid crowded areas of their homes. Also, use a high-quality mask when you have to go out.

https://kfor.com/news/local/projection-oklahoma-could-reach-80000-covid-19-cases-per-day-this-month/ Forecast: Oklahoma may hit 80,000 COVID-19 cases per day this month

JACLYN DIAZ

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