This single-center retrospective study evaluated a protocol for the intubation of patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Twenty-one patients were intubated, 9 of whom were found to have COVID-19. Adherence to the airway management protocol was high. COVID-19 patients had lower peripheral capillary oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry (Spo2) nadirs during intubation (Spo2, 73% [72%–77%] vs 89% [86%–94%], P = .024), and a greater percentage experienced severe hypoxemia defined as Spo2 ≤80% (89% vs 25%, P = .008). The incidence of severe hypoxemia in COVID-19 patients should be considered in the development of guidelines that incorporate high-flow nasal cannula and noninvasive positive pressure ventilation.