COVID Trends Relatively Steady Over The Past Week As CDC-Reported Deaths Slow

Apr 7, 2021

Credit Oklahoma State Department of Health

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 441,906 total cases in the state on Wednesday, an increase of 3,542 over the past week.

Wednesday's total included approximately 1,300 cases not previously reported over a six-week period during which a single laboratory had technical issues during the transition to a new COVID-19 data reporting system. Without those cases, Oklahoma added roughly the same number of new infections over the past week as it did the week before.

Tulsa County data is now being updated on a weekly basis, with numbers reflecting the previous Sunday through Saturday. At last count, Tulsa County had 73,012 cases, up 328 over the past week. Tulsa County's total is second to Oklahoma County's 84,075.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, was 306 as of Wednesday, down 3.8% over the past week. That average excludes backlogged cases added to the state's total. The record of 4,256 was set Jan. 13. It has remained under 500 since March 17.

Tulsa County's seven-day average climbed from 44 to 47 over the past week. The record is 647, set Jan. 9. It has remained below 100 since March 4.

The state health department reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's provisional death count in its updates. That count is based on death certificates entered into a vital statistics system and is updated on weekdays. As of Wednesday, the CDC counted 7,994 Oklahomans dead from COVID-19, an increase of 121 over the past week. The CDC places 1,942 of those deaths in Tulsa County, up 18 from last week. County-level data is updated on Wednesdays.

The state is still carrying out its own investigations of COVID-19 deaths and updates that number weekly. The state-confirmed total is 6,669, with 1,014 in Tulsa County.

The state health department reports more than 2.1 million total doses of vaccines have been administered, with 233,280 given in the past week. Almost 706,000 Oklahomans have now completed a vaccination series.

There were 213 Oklahomans with positive COVID tests hospitalized on Tuesday evening, the latest data available, a decrease of two from the same time last week. The highest number so far was 1,994 hospitalized on Jan. 5. There were 56 COVID-positive Oklahomans in intensive care units on Tuesday, four fewer than at the same time last week. 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, 25,320 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 44 COVID-positive residents hospitalized as of Tuesday evening, up 10 from the same time last week. The state's reporting change does not affect regional numbers.

As of Tuesday, the state reported 15% of adult ICU beds and 19% 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. Only the OKC region is above 5%.

The state reported 10,485 active cases of COVID-19 in a Tuesday evening report, down 190 over the past week. The record is 43,163, set Jan. 11. Despite the change in death reporting, active cases are being reported as total cases less patients considered recovered and deaths confirmed by the state health department.

The state's reported overall positive test rate was 10.5% on Tuesday, unchanged from the same time last week. Over the past week, 3.3% of 48,497 reported tests were positive, up 0.5 percentage points from the week before. There were almost 13,000 fewer tests done in the past week. Each positive test does not necessarily represent a unique individual.

The World Health Organization's benchmark indicating adequate testing is a 5% positive test rate.

There are 10 counties at the orange level on the state's COVID alert map, indicating the highest risk of transmission. That number is unchanged from last week. There are 57 counties, including Tulsa County, at the yellow level, up one from last week. Alfalfa, Choctaw, Coal, Dewey, Ellis, Grant, Latimer, Nowata, Okfuskee and Texas counties are at the green risk level, three more than last week.

Tulsa County's rate of new cases per 100,000 population rose 7.5% since it was last reported, going from 6.7 to 7.2. The highest rate of new cases was in Harmon County, which had a new case rate of 53.9, up 100.4% from the week before. The state health department changed its reporting of alert map data from Fridays to Wednesdays.

The orange level starts at 14.3 new cases per 100,000. Regardless of transmission rates, counties are not classified at red, the alert map's highest level, unless COVID patients account for 40% of the staffed acute care hospital beds in that county's state hospital region.

Just 17 counties have not yet hit 10% of their population testing positive for the coronavirus. Alfalfa County leads the state with 20.3% of residents testing positive to date. It's the only county so far to break the 20% level.

In Tulsa County, 11.2% of residents have tested positive to date, 0.7 percentage points higher than in Oklahoma County.