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Oklahoma Sees New High in COVID Hospitalizations for 2nd Straight Day

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Wednesday 1,006 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 94,352.

Tulsa County had 123 of Wednesday's cases. Its total now stands at 18,305, second to Oklahoma County's 19,537.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, rose from 1,018 to 1,022. On Sunday, it dropped below 1,000 for the first time in more than two weeks. The average peaked at 1,136 on Sept. 25.

Tulsa County's seven-day average rose from 139 to 140. It has stayed between 115 and 160 since mid-August.

The state health department reported nine deaths, with none in the past 24 hours. All were adults 65 or older, including a Tulsa County man. Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 1,075 Oklahomans, 172 of them in Tulsa County. Three Oklahoma County residents were among the deaths reported Wednesday, making it the first county to hit 200 deaths.

There were 738 Oklahomans hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday night, 39 more than on Monday and a new high for the second straight day. Of those hospitalized Tuesday, 637 had positive coronavirus tests. Overall, 258 Oklahomans hospitalized for COVID-19 were in intensive care units, 30 more than on Monday.

The Tulsa Health Department reported 282 residents hospitalized as of Tuesday. According to the latest figures, Tulsa County has set a new high in hospitalizations for nine consecutive days, and the number of patients is up 45 since Sept. 27. Local hospitalization numbers change frequently based on new data. Tulsa County hospitalizations have trended up overall since the first week of June.

Over the course of the pandemic, 6,929 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, the state reported 14% of its adult ICU beds were available.

The state health department reported an additional 992 patients as recovered on Wednesday, bringing the total to 80,211. Patients are considered to have recovered if they did not die, are not currently hospitalized and it has been at least 14 days since their symptoms began. Symptoms have been reported to linger for several weeks for some individuals.

The state has 13,066 active cases of COVID-19, five more than the day before. The state set a high in active cases Sept. 28 with 13,379.

Tulsa County reported 107 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 16,364. The county has 1,769 active cases, 15 more than the day before.

The state's reported overall positive test rate remained at 8.1% on Tuesday. Out of 10,614 tests reported on Tuesday, 9.6% were positive. Each positive test does not necessarily represent a unique individual.

The state also reports its cumulative positive test rate, a metric used by Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. It is calculated by dividing the number of cases by the number of negative tests plus the number of cases. As of Tuesday, that rate was 7.2%, unchanged from Monday.

Johns Hopkins uses the different rate to compare states that may track testing differently. It notes the ideal way to calculate the positivity rate is dividing the number of people who test positive by the number of people who are tested, which is how Oklahoma's overall rate is calculated.

The World Health Organization's benchmark indicating adequate testing is a 5% positive test rate.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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