A Record 26 Oklahomans Reported Dead from COVID as Hospitalizations Keep Climbing

Nov 18, 2020

Credit NIAID-RML

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Wednesday 3,017 new cases of COVID-19, the third-highest new case report to date, bringing the state's total to 161,425.

Tulsa County had 398 of Wednesday's new cases, also its third-highest number of new cases to date. Its total now stands at 28,127, second to Oklahoma County's 32,578.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, rose from 2,607 to a new high of 2,727. It previously peaked at 2,636 on Saturday after rising by 1,615 over 13 straight reporting days, hitting nine consecutive new records. Since Sept. 19, the seven-day average has been below 1,000 just two days.

Tulsa County's seven-day average of new cases increased from 386 to 394. It hit a high of 405 on Monday after rising for 18 straight reporting days, climbing 253 since Oct. 29.

The state reported 26 deaths, the most to date, with none in the past 24 hours. In Tulsa County, a man 50 to 64 years old and two men 65 or older were reported dead. Statewide, two adults 36 to 49 years old, three adults 50 to 64 years old and 18 adults 65 or older were also reported dead. Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 1,570 Oklahomans, 243 of them in Tulsa County. Oklahoma leads the state with 266 deaths.

There were 1,434 Oklahomans hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday evening, 53 more than on Monday and a new record for the second day in a row. Of those hospitalized Tuesday, 1,301 had positive coronavirus tests. Overall, 447 Oklahomans hospitalized for COVID-19 were in intensive care units, 57 more than on Monday and a new record for the fourth straight day.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 348 residents hospitalized as of Tuesday evening, 13 more than on Monday and another new record.

Over the course of the pandemic, 10,687 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, the state reported 6% of its adult ICU beds and 14% of its medical surgery beds were available. Four of Oklahoma's eight hospital regions, including Oklahoma County, 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. Tulsa County is at tier two, with 15% to 20% of patients testing positive.

The state health department reported 1,975 additional patients as recovered on Wednesday, bringing the total to 130,032. 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 29,823 active cases of COVID-19, 1,016 more than the day before and a new record. The previous record of 29,157 was set Monday.

Tulsa County reported 238 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 23,387. The county has 4,497 active cases, 157 more than the day before and a new record. The previous record, 4,389, was set Monday.

The state's reported overall positive test rate remained at 9% on Tuesday. Out of  21,238 tests reported on Tuesday, 12.3% were positive. Each positive test does not necessarily represent a unique individual.

The state also reports 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 8.5%, unchanged from Monday.

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.