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State Begins Giving CDC Death Count In Daily COVID-19 Updates

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Updated March 4, 11:42 a.m.  

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Wednesday 747 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 425,746.

Tulsa County had 99 of Wednesday's cases. Its total now stands at 71,105, second to Oklahoma County's 81,082.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, fell from 684 to 677, its lowest since late August. The record of 4,256 was set Jan. 13.

Tulsa County's seven-day average remained at 117. The record is 647, set Jan. 9. Oct. 29 was the last time the seven-day average was below 100.

The state health department has started reporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's provisional death count in its daily updates. That count is based on death certificates entered into a vital statistics system. As of Wednesday, the CDC counted 7,035 Oklahomans dead from COVID-19. The CDC places 1,706 of those deaths in Tulsa County. County-level data is updated weekly.

The state health department will continue to do its own investigations of COVID-19 deaths. There were no additional deaths confirmed Wednesday, leaving the state's total at 4,534 Oklahomans, 723 of them Tulsa County residents.

There were 457 Oklahomans with positive COVID tests hospitalized on Tuesday evening, 11 fewer than on Monday. The highest number so far was 1,994 hospitalized on Jan. 5. There were 137 COVID-positive Oklahomans in intensive care units on Tuesday, one more than on Monday. 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, 24,064 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 100 COVID-positive residents hospitalized as of Tuesday evening, 18 fewer than on Monday. The state's reporting change does not affect regional numbers.

As of Tuesday, the state reported 10% of adult ICU beds and 14% of medical surgery beds available across all facility types. Also as of Tuesday, all of the state's hospital regions were at tier one of a four-tier hospital surge plan, meaning less than 15% of patients have tested positive for COVID for at least three consecutive days.

The state health department reported 1,029 additional patients as recovered on Wednesday, bringing the total to 408,963. 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 12,249 active cases of COVID-19, 282 fewer than the day before. The record is 43,163, set Jan. 11.

Tulsa County reported 153 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 68,987. The county has 1,395 active cases, 54 fewer than the day before. The record is 6,731, set Jan. 11.

The state's reported overall positive test rate was 11% on Tuesday, down 0.1 percentage points from Monday. Out of 16,570 tests reported on Tuesday, 2.8% 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 Tuesday, that rate was 12%, down 0.1 percentage points from Monday.

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.

Correction: This story originally stated 24,604 Oklahomans have been hospitalized over the course of the pandemic. At the time of publication, the number was 24,064.

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