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COVID Update: Hospitalizations Down Almost 50% From January Peak But 29 More Deaths Reported

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U.S. Department of Defense
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The Oklahoma State Department of Health Reported on Friday 2,662 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 399,727.

Tulsa County had 605 of Friday's cases. Its total now stands at 66,160, second to Oklahoma County's 76,647. Tulsa County ranks 42nd in the state for the percentage of its population testing positive for the coronavirus to date, 10.1%. Alfalfa County is No. 1, with 19.4% of residents testing positive at some point during the pandemic.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, fell from 2,234 to 2,216. The average has stayed below 3,000 for 18 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 rose from 402 to 423. It has stayed below 500 for 17 days. The record is 647, set Jan. 9. Oct. 29 was the last time the seven-day average was below 100.

The state reported 29 deaths. When the deaths occurred was not provided. Four were in Tulsa County: two women and two men 65 or older.

Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 3,710 Oklahomans. Tulsa County leads the state with 610 deaths. The state has reported an average of 34.1 deaths the past seven days, down from a late-January high of 43.3.

There were 1,051 Oklahomans with positive COVID tests hospitalized on Thursday evening, 51 fewer than on Wednesday. The highest number so far was 1,994 hospitalized on Jan. 5. There were 302 COVID-positive Oklahomans in intensive care units on Thursday, 29 fewer than on Wednesday. KWGS is basing hospitalization and ICU bed numbers on the total across all types of facilities. The state changed 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 227 COVID-positive residents hospitalized as of Thursday evening, 37 fewer than on Wednesady. The state's reporting change does not affect regional numbers.

Over the course of the pandemic, 22,453 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Thursday, the state reported 11% of adult ICU beds and 15% of medical surgery beds available across all facility types. Also as of Thursday, two 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, central, southwest and southeast regions are currently at tier two. The northwest and east central regions are at tier one. The OKC region has dropped from 27% to 25% over the past several days.

The state health department reported 2,829 additional patients as recovered on Friday, bringing the total to 369,278. 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 26,739 active cases of COVID-19, 196 fewer than the day before. The record is 43,163, set Jan. 11.

Tulsa County reported 672 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 61,360. The county has 4,190 active cases, 71 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 for three weeks. Out of 13,228 tests reported on Thursday, 17.2% 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 12.2%, up 0.1 percentage points 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 fell from orange to yellow, and Ellis County jumped from yellow to orange.

Tulsa County's rate of new cases per 100,000 population fell 9.5% this week, going from 68.2 to 61.7. The highest rate of new cases was in Carter County, which had a new case rate of 107.2, up 24.5% 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 acute care hospital beds in that county's state hospital region.

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