OU COVID Expert: 'I Think We Are Beyond The Delta Surge'
Oklahoma's current COVID-19 trends are encouraging for one of the state's leading experts on the pandemic.
The state has fallen to 16th in the U.S. for its population-based rate of new COVID-19 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and over the past two weeks, the state’s seven-day average has dropped almost 30%. It now sits at 1,584.
"So, with numbers trending down, has it leveled off? I think we are beyond the Delta surge," OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler said during a Wednesday update.
Bratzler said that statement is supported by his review of various models and discussions with OU epidemiologist Dr. Aaron Wendelboe about current trends.
"The wildcard would be if we saw a variant come into the United States and into Oklahoma that started spreading rapidly, like we did with Delta, but at this point in time, there are no variants that seem to be taking over," Bratzler said.
Oklahoma’s seven-day average had approached 3,000 in mid- to late August. It topped out at more than 4,000 in January.
"In general, good news in Oklahoma. The case counts are continuing to trend downward, and hospitalizations have followed, although not quite as quickly," Bratzler said.
As of Wednesday, the state reports a three-day average of 1,045 people hospitalized for COVID-19, with about one in three in intensive care. There are 24 children among those hospitalized. According to the CDC, COVID has killed more than 10,200 Oklahomans.