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Hospital staffing shortage in Oklahoma hits over 30% of hospitals

University of Mississippi
ICU nurses in Mississippi prepare for a shift Aug. 11.

34% of hospitals across Oklahoma now have staff shortages according to an Oct. 15 report from the White House, CDC, and other federal agencies.

That’s a 5% increase from the previous week. It puts Oklahoma in the ‘red,’ or the second highest level of concern established by the metrics. The state has been in this category since early August.

Dr. Woody Jenkins is a doctor at Stillwater Medical Center. He says the unusual amount of death healthcare workers have seen during the pandemic has been really depressing and has made people quit.

“We will have two or three patients die a month, but not the amount of patients we’ve had die since the pandemic started,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins says even though cases have dropped, deaths are still significant.

“Our numbers at Stillwater Medical have gone down, but we’ve also had six or seven deaths in the last couple of weeks and that just wears on our staff,” said Jenkins.

At least 40 nurses have quit Stillwater Medical since the start of the pandemic.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, there are still over 7,500 active COVID cases in the state.