OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Oklahoma are “too little, too late” and hospitalizations in the state are likely to continue rising, a University of Oklahoma medical center doctor said Friday.
“I think some of the new restrictions that have been put into place may have some benefit for reducing spread of the disease, but quite honestly ... I think it's too little, too late right now,” said OU Health Dr. Dale Bratzler.
Bratzler said anything to mitigate the virus' spread helps, but that it will take two to three weeks for restrictions to reduce infections, and hospitalizations will likely reach 2,000 to 3,000 during that time.
The state health department reported 1,428 hospitalizations on Friday after reporting a one-day record of 1,434 on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Gov. Kevin Stitt implemented measures including mask mandates in state buildings and closing bars and in-person restaurant service at 11 p.m.
The department reported 2,915 new cases and 18 additional deaths due to the virus for totals of 164,340 cases and 1,588 deaths since the outbreak began.
The true number of infections is likely higher because many people haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.