Health Department Says Okahoma Exceeded 90,000 Test Target for May, Reports 4 New COVID-19 Deaths

May 28, 2020

Credit National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Thursday 41 new cases of COVID-19, four additional deaths and 101 newly recovered patients.

The state now has 6,270 confirmed cases of the illness since March 6.

One death reported Thursday happened in the past 24 hours, and the rest happened between May 22 and Tuesday. All four were adults 65 or older. Since March 18, 326 Oklahomans have died from COVID-19.

Over the course of the outbreak, 975 people have been hospitalized, and 181 are currently in the hospital.

With the 101 patients reported as recovered Thursday, 5,236 Oklahomans are now considered to have recovered from COVID-19, meaning they did not die, are not currently hospitalized and it has been at least 14 days since they started experiencing symptoms.

According to state figures, Oklahoma has 708 known, active cases of the illness.

The health department announced Thursday the state had met its goal of performing 90,000 coronavirus tests in May. As of Wednesday, it had processed 113,264 specimens since May 1. The total number of tests processed since the outbreak began is 183,632.

"Testing is paramount to controlling the spread of COVID-19," Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye said in a statement. "Reaching this goal is only a starting point in the strategy for Oklahoma. In order to increase progress on minimizing the spread of COVID-19, we will continue to expand testing accessibility, increase contact tracing efforts and encourage Oklahomans to remain steadfast by continuing to follow state and CDC guidelines."

Increased testing in May included an attempt to test every nursing home resident and worker in the state, a response to a COVID-19 outbreak at a pork processing facility in Guymon, and increased testing in jails and prisons.

With current testing numbers, Oklahoma's positive test rate is 3.4%. The World Health Organization says positive test rates of 10% or less generally indicate adequate levels of testing.

State officials say Oklahoma has adequate supplies now and anyone who wants a test can get one, regardless of whether they're experiencing symptoms. A list of testing sites and requirements is available at a health department website.