Lawton physician, city leader talk COVID-19 latest

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 6:37 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The continued rise of coronavirus cases has caused many hospitals nationwide to run out of ICU beds. 7News spoke with the chief medical officer at Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Dr. Scott Michener, to discuss COVID-19′s impact locally.

Dr. Michener said although our numbers have been going up, the hospital has remained steady.

“We’re doing a lot of things proactively to try to manage patient flow, patient safety,” said Dr. Michener. “We’re putting our non-covid patients as priority, certainly, to keep them safe. We’ve kind of stayed steady, but I feel like we’re just kind of lagging behind everywhere.”

Dr. Michener said there are many more measures we should be doing to prevent the spread.

“A mask is an extremely small sacrifice to make for the health of everyone,” said Dr. Michener. “It’s just unbelievable that we’re not doing that. Other countries wear masks during flu season to protect themselves from the flu, and we have an illness that we know kills people and we’re acting like wearing a mask is an infringement on our personal liberty. It’s not. It’s to take care of each other.”

Wednesday’s latest COVID-19 numbers for Oklahoma show nearly 700 new cases.

Cities like Norman have now mandated the wearing of masks in public places.

Lawton City leaders say we are not there yet.

“We’re continuing to watch the situation at the city and see,” said Lawton City Council member, Sean Fortenbaugh. “If things get bad again, then yes, we will have to do something. I don’t know if that’ll involve masks, but for now we’re just following what the Governor’s guidance is.”

Fortenbaugh said the city has met with local physicians when deciding on how to proceed.

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