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Tulsa County Jumps To No. 1 In Oklahoma For COVID Deaths

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Friday 2,946 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 365,992.

Tulsa County had 513 of Friday's cases. Its total now stands at 60,142, second to Oklahoma County's 71,058. Tulsa County became the second in the state to break 60,000 total cases.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, fell for the ninth day in a row, dropping from 2,649 to 2,564, its lowest point since Dec. 30. The record of 4,256 was set Jan. 13. Oct. 5 was the last time the seven-day average was below 1,000.

Tulsa County's seven-day average also dropped for the ninth day in a row, falling from 478 to 461, its lowest point since Dec. 30. The record is 647, set Jan. 9.

The state reported 47 deaths. When deaths occurred is not reported. Eight deaths were in Tulsa County: one man and one woman 50 to 64 years old, and three men and three women 65 or older.

Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 3,187 Oklahomans, 526 of them Tulsa County residents. Tulsa County overtook Oklahoma County on Friday to lead the state in deaths. The state has reported an average of 37.4 deaths the past seven days, a new high for the third straight day.

There were 1,634 Oklahomans with positive COVID tests hospitalized on Thursday evening, 88 fewer than on Wednesday and the fewest since Dec. 11. The highest number so far was 1,994 hospitalized on Jan. 5. There were 438 COVID-positive Oklahomans in intensive care units on Thursday, 11 fewer than on Wednesday and the fewest since Nov. 25.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 357 COVID-positive residents hospitalized as of Thursday evening, 10 fewer than on Wednesday and the fewest since Nov. 23.

Over the course of the pandemic, 20,692 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Thursday, the state reported 5% of its adult ICU beds and 11% of its medical surgery beds were available. Also as of Thursday, seven of Oklahoma's eight hospital regions 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. The northwest region is currently at tier two. The OKC region has hovered near 35% the past few days. The Tulsa region dropped to 20% on Thursday.

The state health department reported 3,343 additional patients as recovered on Friday, bringing the total to 330,478. 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 32,327 active cases of COVID-19, 444 fewer than the day before. The record is 43,163, set Jan. 11.

Tulsa County reported 609 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 54,266. The county has 5,350 active cases, 104 fewer than the day before. The record is 6,731, set Jan. 11.

The state's reported overall positive test rate was 11.4% on Thursday, unchanged from Wednesday. Out of 23,128 tests reported on Thursday, 11.2% were positive. Each positive test does not necessarily represent a unique individual.

The state used to report 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 Thursday, that rate was 12%, unchanged from Wednesday.

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.

There are 76 counties at the orange level on the state's COVID alert map, indicating the highest risk of transmission. Since last week, Cimarron County dropped from orange to green.

Tulsa County's rate of new cases per 100,000 population fell 23.2% this week, going from 95.6 to 73.4. The highest rate of new cases was in Alfalfa County, which had a new case rate of 120.3, up 41.2% from last week.

The orange level starts at 14.3 new cases per 100,000. There are five counties with new case rates over 100.

Regardless of transmission rates, counties are not classified at red, the alert map's highest level, unless COVID patients account for 40% of the staffed hospital beds in that county's state hospital region.

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