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Local & Regional

11 More Dead from COVID as State 7-Day Average Goes Back above 3,000

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Tuesday 2,297 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 220,686.

Tulsa County had 447 of Tuesday's cases. Its total now stands at 37,149, second to Oklahoma County's 45,458.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, rose from 2,949 to 3,029. Nov. 29 was the last time it was above 3,000. The record is 3,387, set the day after Thanksgiving. Oct. 5 was the last time the seven-day average was below 1,000.

Tulsa County's seven-day average of new cases rose from 448 to 469. The record of 498 was set on Friday.

The state reported 11 deaths. Information on when they occurred was not released. A Tulsa County man 65 or older was reported dead. Statewide, two adults 36 to 49 years old and eight adults 65 or older were also reported dead. 

Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 1,922 Oklahomans, 290 of them Tulsa County residents. The state has reported an average of 23.4 deaths the past seven days.

There were 1,698 Oklahomas hospitalized for COVID-19 on Monday evening, 23 fewer than on Friday. Of those hospitalized Monday, 1,634 had positive coronavirus tests. Overall, 469 Oklahomans hospitalized for COVID-19 were in intensive care units, three fewer than on Friday.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 400 residents hospitalized as of Monday evening, six more than on Friday. The record is 431, set Nov. 30.

Over the course of the pandemic, 13,392 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Monday, the state reported 5% of its adult ICU beds and 14% of its medical surgery beds were available. ICU bed availability dipped to a record low of 3% Friday evening. As of Friday, six of Oklahoma's eight hospital regions, including Tulsa and Oklahoma counties, are at tier three of a four-tier hospital surge plan, meaning 20% to 40% of patients have tested positive for COVID-19 for at least three consecutive days. Only the east central region remains in tier one.

The state health department reported 4,284 additional patients as recovered on Tuesday, bringing the total to 189,020. 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 29,744 active cases of COVID-19, 1,998 fewer than the day before. The record is 33,844, set Nov. 23.

Tulsa County reported 835 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 32,254. The county has 4,605 active cases, 389 fewer than the day before. The record is 5,078, set Nov. 23.

The state's reported overall positive test rose 0.1 percentage points Monday to 9.9%. Out of 39,001 tests reported on Monday, 13.3% 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 9.7%, up 0.3 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.

Correction: Due to a miscalculation, this story originally misstated the state's cumulative positive test rate as 9.8%.

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