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State Notches New COVID Hospitalization Record; Another 21 Oklahomans Dead from the Illness

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Tuesday 1,331 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 126,526.

Tulsa County had 234 of Tuesday's cases, the most in almost a month. Its total now stands at 23,153, second to Oklahoma County's 25,315.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, increased for a third straight day, rising from 1,123 to 1,169. The average hit a record high of 1,348 Oct. 25. Since Sept. 19, the seven-day average has been below 1,000 just two days.

Tulsa County's seven-day average rose for the fifth day in a row, climbing from 175 to 189. Tulsa County's average of new cases peaked at 254 in late July.

The state health department reported 21 deaths, with two in the past 24 hours. Four deaths were in Tulsa County: a man between 50 and 64 years old, and three men 65 or older. Statewide, three other men between 50 and 64 years old and 14 other adults 65 or older were also reported dead. Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 1,375 Oklahomans, 218 of them Tulsa County residents.

There were 974 Oklahomans hospitalized for COVID-19 on Monday evening, 122 more than on Friday and a new high. The previous high was 956 hospitalizations on Oct. 22. Of those hospitalized Monday, 897 had positive coronavirus tests. Overall, 336 Oklahomans hospitalized for COVID-19 were in intensive care units, 14 more than Friday and a new record for the second day in a row.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 235 residents hospitalized as of Monday evening, unchanged from Friday.

Over the course of the pandemic, 9,104 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Monday, the state reported 7% of its adult ICU beds were available.

The state health department reported 1,341 additional patients as recovered on Tuesday, bringing the total to 109,234. 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 15,917 active cases of COVID-19, 31 fewer than the day before, which was a new high.

Tulsa County reported 190 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 20,493. The county has 2,442 active cases, 40 more than the day before and a new record for the second straight day.

The state's reported overall positive test rate remained at 8.3% on Monday. Out of 30,315 tests reported on Monday, 11.7% 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 Monday, that rate was 7.6%, up 0.1 percentage points from Friday.

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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