Grady County Covid cases continue to escalate

by Marylin Butorac, WVCN Community Correspondant
 Grady County currently has a 35.1% population vaccination rate, with one or more vaccinations according to Covidactnow.org , leaving 65% of citizens unprotected from Covid 19.
 The report shows that Grady County is seeing a little over 52 new cases per 100,000 population and a positive test rate of just under 20% according to the website.
 In Grady County, 19,617 people (35.1%) have received at least one dose and 16,417 (29.4%) are fully vaccinated. Anybody who is at least 12 years old is eligible to be vaccinated. Fewer than 0.001% of people who have received a dose experienced a severe adverse reaction.
 The hospital situation is dire, according to a letter from physicians at Grady County Hospital warning that the incidences of Covid-19 continue climb and the facility may not be able to care for patients with injuries from car accidents, heart related issues and other health concerns for much longer.
 The letter states, “Grady County is currently experiencing our steepest rise thus far in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations for the past few weeks, nearly all of them have not yet been vaccinated. If the influx of patients continues at this pace, we are worried we won’t have enough nurses, doctors, and supplies to take care of everyone.”
 The letter further states, “We need your help. The most important thing you can do for us, for your family, for your community, is get vaccinated against COVID-19. Even if you previously had COVID infection, even if you are healthy and young, it is still important to get the shots. Talk to your family and friends ages 12 and over and urge them to get vaccinated as well. The only way to get back to normal is for all of us to come together on this issue. If you are not sure or have questions, please talk to us, your healthcare providers. We will gladly answer any questions you have and help you make the best decision for you and your family.”
 The letter is attested by 31 local medical professionals.
 Currently all individuals aged 12 and over are eligible for at least one of the free vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine has full approval of the FDA and Moderna is expected to follow soon. Individuals are encouraged to ask their own doctors if they have any questions about the safety of the vaccine and/or the benefits of receiving it. Free vaccinations are widely available through local pharmacies.
 Oklahoma does not have a mask mandate, however some schools and businesses have put mandates in place. If you’re not sure, call your destination and check their policies. The CDC recommends masks indoors for everyone, whether they are vaccinated or not, especially in areas for low vaccination rates and high transmission. This protects vulnerable individuals, those who cannot be vaccinated, and children under 12. It also cuts down disease transmission from person to person, which is how mutations and new variants are created.
 Delta is more contagious and more severe than older variants according to the CDC. It is currently responsible for the most hospitalizations and deaths, and can evade the vaccine in some cases, but vaccination is still the best protection.
 Reports are that 97% of hospital admissions are unvaccinated individuals.
 Grady Memorial Hospital is licensed to operate 49 acute care beds and fully accredited by CMS. It anchors a healthcare network that includes a 24-hour physician-staffed emergency department and specialized medical and surgical services, and employs a staff of more than 300 healthcare professionals.