Oklahoma health officials said Tuesday that coronavirus hospitalizations appear to be leveling off, but hospital stays are longer due to the delta variant of the virus.
The three-day average of new hospitalizations fell from 1,518 a week ago to 1,352 on Tuesday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which reported a seven-day average of 2,114 new cases daily, down from 2,709 one week ago.
However, the average hospitalization increased from five to six days in January to 10-11 days currently, and ICU stays rose from 10-11 days to 15-20, said Dr. David Kendrick, chair of Medical Informatics at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine.
Patti Davis, president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, said it is too soon to call the decline a trend.
“Given ... Labor Day activities, all health care providers probably have their fingers crossed and are hoping for the best, but not assuming (the decline) will hold once we get at the requisite date past Labor Day," which could result in another surge in cases, Davis said.
Kendrick said most new virus cases are among younger patients; 21.6% are 36-49 years old, and those aged 18-35 account for about 18% of new cases.