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Local & Regional

23 More Oklahomans Reported Dead From COVID-19, 6 In Tulsa County

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Thursday 618 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 416,476.

Tulsa County had 202 of Thursday's cases. Its total now stands at 69,314, second to Oklahoma County's 79,348.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, fell from 1,162 to 1,011. 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 fell from 201 to 198. The record is 647, set Jan. 9. Oct. 29 was the last time the seven-day average was below 100.

The state reported 23 deaths. When the deaths occurred was not immediately reported. Six Tulsa County residents were among the deaths: one woman 36 to 49 years old, one man 50 to 64 years old, and one woman and three men 65 or older.

Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 4,112 Oklahomans, 667 of them Tulsa County residents. The state has reported an average of 23.4 deaths the past seven days.

There were 772 Oklahomans with positive COVID tests hospitalized on Wednesday evening, 10 fewer than on Tuesday. The highest number so far was 1,994 hospitalized on Jan. 5. There were 230 COVID-positive Oklahomans in intensive care units on Wednesday, 14 more than on Tuesday. 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 164 COVID-positive residents hospitalized as of Wednesday evening, nine fewer than on Tuesday. The state's reporting change does not affect regional numbers.

Over the course of the pandemic, 23,464 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, the state reported 13% of adult ICU beds and 16% of medical surgery beds available across all facility types. Also as of Wednesday, the OKC region was at tier two of a four-tier hospital surge plan, meaning 15% to 20% of patients tested positive for COVID-19 for at least three consecutive days. That was up to 21%, however, on Tuesday and Wednesday, meaning the region will move back to tier three with a third day of more than 20% of patients testing positive for COVID-19. All other regions are at tier one.

The state health department reported 1,799 additional patients as recovered on Thursday, bringing the total to 394,968. 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 17,396 active cases of COVID-19, 1,204 fewer than the day before. The record is 43,163, set Jan. 11.

Tulsa County reported 420 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 66,136. The county has 2,511 active cases, 224 fewer than the day before. The record is 6,731, set Jan. 11.

The state's reported overall positive test rate was 11.2%, on Wednesday, unchanged from Tuesday. Out of 4,029 tests reported on Wednesday, 10.2% were positive. The number of tests reported Wednesday was the lowest daily total since late June. 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 12.2%, unchanged for two weeks.

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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