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Saint Francis hospital leaders said the number of COVID-19 patients is still very high, but they are seeing some positive trends.

Healthcare leaders at Saint Francis in Tulsa are cautiously optimistic in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

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“The last couple three days, so through the course of this weekend, we admitted fewer patients than we discharged,” said Dr. Cliff Robertson, President and CEO of St. Francis.

Robertson said over that same time period, the hospital’s test positivity rate has also decreased slightly.

“That’s only three days, so we need seven, eight, nine days in a row in that manner before I think we would start to see a true plateau,” said Robertson.

While it is encouraging, Robertson said COVID-19 numbers at the hospital are still very high and people are still very sick.

Right now, 282 patients are hospitalized with the virus, just 27 less than the hospital’s peak at the beginning of the year. 91% of the people currently hospitalized are not vaccinated.

Christy Pisarra is the hospital’s acute care director.

“This wave of Delta that we’re seeing this time feels very different than last January,” said Pisarra. “Our patients are much younger, and something anecdotally we’ve noticed is they fail faster.”

Pisarra said this wave is also hard emotionally on staff members working on the COVID-19 units, as young parents and younger people are passing away.

“It is just not normal, completely not normal to have a 20-year-old, 30-year-old, 40-year-old, 50-year-old, a unit full of that age on a ventilator,” said Pisarra.

Pisarra is pleading with Oklahomans to get vaccinated and wear a mask.

Saint Francis said 153 of their employees are out right now related to COVID-19. 119 of them have tested positive, 13 are in quarantine and 21 have symptoms but tested negative.

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