Oklahoma's Rolling Average of COVID Cases Hits New High as State Surpasses 36,000 Total

Jul 31, 2020

Credit Department of Defense

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Friday 747 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 36,487.

Tulsa County had 74 of Friday's new cases according to data the state health department, the smallest increase since July 5 barring two days of undercounted cases because of computer problems at the state health department. Tulsa County's total now stands at 8,710.

The state health department reported five deaths on Friday, noting three happened in the past 24 hours. Three of the five dead were adults 65 or older. A man between 50 and 64 years old, and a woman between 36 and 49 years old also died. Since March 18, 541 Oklahomans are known to have died from COVID-19.

There were no new deaths in Tulsa County, which still leads the state with 98 deaths.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, climbed to a new high, going from 991 to 1,053. The previous high of 1,036 was set Monday.

Tulsa County's seven-day average dropped from a high of 254 to 228.

During an expert panel hosted by Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn on Friday, OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler put Oklahoma's numbers into a different context. Bratzler said Oklahoma is now seeing a daily average of 25 new cases per 100,000 residents. Texas is seeing 27.

"We all have heard about Texas. We know they have big numbers but Oklahoma’s not far behind with respect to population-based number of cases that we’re seeing," Bratzler said.

As of Thursday evening, 621 Oklahomans were hospitalized for COVID-19, 486 of them with confirmed diagnoses. Overall, 26 fewer Oklahomans were in the hospital from the day before, but there were four more hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

While overall numbers in intensive care units fell from 253 to 244, the number of people with confirmed cases in ICU beds rose from 217 to 230.

"When you have that many people in an ICU bed across our state, like it or not, we’re going to see more deaths," said OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler.

The state reported 23% of its adult ICU beds were available as of Thursday. The state has stopped reporting disaggregated hospital bed data.

Tulsa County reported its third straight day of declining overall hospitalizations after 175 were reported Monday. The Tulsa Health Department reported 159 county residents hospitalized as of Thursday. THD's hospitalization numbers change frequently based on new data and are not separated into patients under investigation and patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Over the course of the pandemic, 3,161 Oklahomans have been hospitalized.

The state health department reported 776 additional patients as recovered on Friday, bringing the total to 29,187. 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 6,759 active cases of COVID-19.

Tulsa County had 180 additional residents reported as recovered from COVID-19 for a total of 7,307, leaving the county with 1,305 active cases, a decrease of 106.

Overall, the state's positive test held steady at 6.6% from Wednesday to Thursday. Out of 10,902 tests reported Thursday evening, 9.8% were positive.