Appearing on MSNBC to discuss Tulsa’s hospital capacity situation on MTP Daily with Chuck Todd, Mayor G.T. Bynum reiterated that the majority of COVID-19 patients were from outside the city limits where no mask mandates are in place.
That reality, Bynum said, has placed a difficult strain on already-overworked and exhausted doctors and nurses despite assurance that care will be provided to all patients.
“Our hospitals have assured me that they will continue to provide care, but the way that they’re doing that is by being really restrictive, and you have to be basically in danger of respiratory failure before you’re going to get in a hospital with COVID,” said Bynum, who referenced that some hospitals are saving beds for only the sickest of patients.
“So that’s the way that rooms are being rationed right now is you have to be one of the worst possible cases before you get a hospital bed.”
Bynum, who instituted a city face-covering mandate in July, explained that he recently made overtures to Gov. Kevin Stitt to consider a statewide mask ordinance for Oklahoma to help slow the surging virus spread.
As of Friday, Tulsa County reported 319 new, confirmed infections. The county has averaged 12.4 COVID-19-related hospital admissions per day over the past seven days, according to Tulsa County Health Department data.
“We’ve reached a point where, you know, we can’t control the spread of this virus anymore,” he said. “It is absolutely something that I think our hospitals need — that statewide mandate. And you know that the argument has been made well you know we we really want to encourage people and support personal responsibility you know, my response to that is, every law we have would be fine if people were personally responsible. We’ve reached a point where we need action.”
View the video here:
COVID-19 basics everyone needs to know as the pandemic continues
Concerned about COVID-19?
Sign up now to get the most recent coronavirus headlines and other important local and national news sent to your email inbox daily.