COVID Hospitalizations Slowly Falling, But 48 More Deaths Reported

Jan 20, 2021

Credit Food and Drug Administration

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Wednesday 1,986 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 360,360.

Tulsa County had 309 of Wednesday's cases. Its total now stands at 59,160, second to Oklahoma County's 70,044.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, fell from 2,988 to 2,714, its lowest point since Dec. 31. The record of 4,256 was set last Wednesday. The average had dipped to around 2,600 as reporting lagged around the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Oct. 5 was the last time the seven-day average was below 1,000.

Tulsa County's seven-day average tumbled from 536 to 491, its lowest point since Jan. 1. The record is 647, set Jan. 9.

The state reported 48 deaths. When deaths occurred is not reported. Seven deaths were in Tulsa County: four women and three men 65 or older.

Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 3,085 Oklahomans, 509 of them Tulsa County residents. The state has reported an average of 33.9 deaths the past seven days, the highest number to date.

There were 1,776 Oklahomans with positive COVID tests hospitalized on Tuesday evening, 90 fewer than last reported on Friday. The highest number so far was 1,994 hospitalized on Jan. 5. There were 474 COVID-positive Oklahomans in intensive care units on Tuesday, 25 fewer than on Friday.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 403 COVID-positive residents hospitalized as of Monday evening, 26 fewer than on Friday.

Over the course of the pandemic, 20,295 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, the state reported 5% of its adult ICU beds and 12% of its medical surgery beds were available. Also as of Tuesday, seven of Oklahoma's eight hospital regions are at tier three of a four-tier hospital surge plan, meaning 20% to 40% of patients have tested positive for COVID-19 for at least three consecutive days. The northwest region is currently at tier two. The OKC region has ranged from 35% to 37% the past several days. The Tulsa region has hovered around 23% the past few days.

The state health department reported 4,039 additional patients as recovered on Wednesday, bringing the total to 323,240. 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 34,035 active cases of COVID-19, 2,101 fewer than the day before. The record is 43,163, set Jan. 11.

Tulsa County reported 730 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 53,004. The county has 5,647 active cases, 428 fewer than the day before. The record is 6,731, set Jan. 11.

The state's reported overall positive test rate was 11.3% on Tuesday, down 0.1 percentage points from when it was last reported Friday. Out of 46,471 tests reported on Tuesday, 8.5% 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 11.9%, up 0.1 percentage points from Friday.

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.