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COVID Hospitalizations Fall Below 1,400, But 35 More Oklahomans Reported Dead

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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Thursday 2,320 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 381,430.

Tulsa County had 442 of Thursday's cases. Its total now stands at 62,739, second to Oklahoma County's 73,876.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, fell from 2,679 to 2,626. The average has stayed below 3,000 for 10 days. 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 dropped from 448 to 444. The record is 647, set Jan. 9. Oct. 29 was the last time the seven-day average was below 100.

The state reported 35 deaths. Information on when the deaths occurred was not provided. Seven deaths were in Tulsa County: four women and three men age 65 or older.

Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 3,423 Oklahomans, 564 of them Tulsa County residents. The state has reported an average of 40.4 deaths the past seven days.

There were 1,375 Oklahomans with positive COVID tests hospitalized on Wednesday evening, 79 fewer than on Tuesday. It's the first time with fewer than 1,400 hospitalizations since Nov. 19. The highest number so far was 1,994 hospitalized on Jan. 5. There were 371 COVID-positive Oklahomans in intensive care units on Wednesday, three more than on Tuesday. KWGS is basing hospitalization and ICU bed numbers on the total across all types of facilities. The state changed this week to reporting just acute care hospitals but still gives numbers for focus, rehabilitation and tribal facilities.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 323 COVID-positive residents hospitalized as of Wednesday evening, seven fewer than on Tuesday. The state's reporting change does not affect regional numbers.

Over the course of the pandemic, 21,478 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, reported 6% of adult ICU beds and 13% of medical surgery beds available across all facility types. Also as of Wednesday, five 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 Tulsa, east central and northwest regions are currently at tier two. The OKC region has ranged from 31% to 33% recently.

The state health department reported 2,969 additional patients as recovered on Thursday, bringing the total to 348,836. 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 29,171 active cases of COVID-19, 684 fewer than the day before. It's the lowest total since Dec. 3. The record is 43,163, set Jan. 11.

Tulsa County reported 578 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 57,401. The county has 4,774 active cases, 143 fewer than the day before. It's the lowest active case total since Dec. 10. The record is 6,731, set Jan. 11.

The state's reported overall positive test rate was 11.4% on Wednesday, unchanged from Tuesday. Out of 18,273 tests reported on Wednesday, 15.2% 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 Wednesday, that rate was 12.1%, unchanged from Tuesday.

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.

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