Abby Housman

Over the past 2 years, Grady Memorial Hospital has been fighting the battle against COVID-19.   Nurses, physicians and staff alike have witnessed the ebb and flow of the virus, and although COVID tests continue to show positive results, numbers have declined in recent months.  “Our positivity rate of tests conducted through our lab was 10% in October and a positivity rate of 14% currently for November”, said Brad Warden, Infection Control Specialist.  

While these numbers demonstrate we are moving in the right direction, Grady continues to stress the importance of vaccinations.  Dr. Abby Housman, Chief of Staff, states, “Though cases of COVID-19 are decreasing in Oklahoma, transmission is still at a high level. Getting vaccinated against COVID is the best defense against getting this disease. It’s also time to get your flu vaccine! Getting both now will help protect you and your family and friends during the holiday months ahead.” 

Although the likelihood of patients getting deathly ill is low, there is always a chance someone will not be so lucky, and will pay the price of their decision.  According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), 84% of hospitalizations are unvaccinated.  “Fully vaccinated COVID-19 hospital patients had an adjusted odds ratio of 0.33 for death or the need for invasive mechanical ventilation”. This is not to say that one cannot get covid if vaccinated, but the chances of needing to be hospitalized are substantially lower to that of those unvaccinated.  Grady Memorial hospitalizations for covid patients correspond with the decrease in numbers, and it is hopeful that COVID patient volume will also continue dropping.  

Policies and practices for COVID are continuously moving and evolving.  Beth Malone, Director of Emergency Department/ADON stated, “Grady is regularly monitoring and adapting to the changes and mandates relating to the COVID virus.  We will continue to be transparent with employees and the public as changes occur to ensure everyone is kept up to date.  We take COVID very seriously, and we will continue to do our very best in taking care of the community.”  

Throughout these past months, Grady Memorial has felt and lived the exhaustive toll that COVID-19 has inflicted onto the community.  Although the years have been a struggle, the staff would not have made it without the constant support and blessings from the many residents of Chickasha.  Whether it was words of comfort, gift baskets, or a card, Grady Memorial and its surrounding clinics wish to extend a huge thank you to everyone who showed appreciation.  Additionally, for those who choose to be vaccinated, Grady extends a special thank you in helping keep the community safe.  Every decision saying “yes” to the vaccine is possibly one more life saved and significant suffering eased.  Grady Memorial will continue to work diligently toward providing the best healthcare, and it is with your support that this is possible. 

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