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Local & Regional

Reported COVID Deaths Down 17% In February, New Cases And Testing Down Dramatically

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Monday 380 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 424,888.

Tulsa County had 50 of Monday's cases. Its total now stands at 70,999, second to Oklahoma County's 80,858.

The state added 35,036 cases of COVID-19 to its total in February, down 64% from January's record. Testing in February, however, was down 45% from January.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, fell from 736 to 719. The record of 4,256 was set Jan. 13.

Tulsa County's seven-day average dropped from 131 to 123. The record is 647, set Jan. 9. Oct. 29 was the last time the seven-day average was below 100.

The state reported 50 deaths, but it continues to work through a reporting backlog. Two deaths reported Monday occurred in February. The rest happened in January. Six deaths were in Tulsa County: one man and one woman 50 to 64 years old, and one man and three women 65 or older.

Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 4,478 Oklahomans, 710 of them Tulsa County residents. The state has reported an average of 39.3 deaths the past seven days.

In February, the state reported 881 deaths, down 17% from January's record number.

There were 528 Oklahomans with positive COVID tests hospitalized on Friday evening, 43 fewer than on Thursday. The highest number so far was 1,994 hospitalized on Jan. 5. There were 164 COVID-positive Oklahomans in intensive care units on Friday, two more than on Thursday. 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.

Over the course of the pandemic, 23,995 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 111 COVID-positive residents hospitalized as of Friday evening, six fewer than on Thursday. The state's reporting change does not affect regional numbers.

As of Sunday, the state reported 13% of adult ICU beds and 18% of medical surgery beds available across all facility types. As of Friday, 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. All other regions are at tier one.

The state health department reported 353 additional patients as recovered on Monday, bringing the total to 407,665. 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 12,745 active cases of COVID-19, 23 fewer than the day before. The record is 43,163, set Jan. 11.

Tulsa County reported 54 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 68,785. The county has 1,504 active cases, 10 fewer than the day before. The record is 6,731, set Jan. 11.

The state's reported overall positive test rate was 11.1% on Friday, unchanged from the day before. Out of 8,744 tests reported on Friday, 7.6% 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 Friday, that rate was 12.1%, unchanged from Thursday.

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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