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Days Before Tulsa State Fair, New COVID Cases Nearly Double That When 2020 Event Was Canceled

Matt Trotter

With the Tulsa State Fair beginning Thursday, new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to decline in Tulsa County; however, both are substantially higher than they were when officials called off last year’s fair.

There were more than 2,200 new cases reported in Tulsa County last week, which represented a fourth straight week with fewer new cases than the week before. When local officials canceled the Tulsa State Fair in August 2020, there had been just under 1,200 new cases.

More than half of Tulsa County's new cases now are among those 35 and younger.

"Tulsa County residents in the age group 18–35 continue to make up the majority of cases, representing 29.6% of cases. Since mid-August, children ages 5–17 are the second-largest age bracket, with 21.7% of cases," said Tulsa Health Department COVID Incident Response Commander Kelly VanBuskirk.

VanBuskirk said there is always a risk of spreading the illness at large gatherings, something parents with kids too young to be vaccinated against COVID should bear in mind.

"As a parent, it's just doing what's right for your family and protecting your children the best way you can, and if that is wearing a mask and social distancing and washing hands and yourselves receiving the vaccine to protect those around you, [that] is what we would recommend," VanBuskirk said.

People who feel sick must stay home.

THD will host a walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the fair. According to the state health department, 91% of hospitalizations the past 30 days have been unvaccinated individuals. 

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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