State Reports 24 Additional COVID Deaths As Other Indicators Keep Improving

Feb 23, 2021

Credit U.S. Department of Defense

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Tuesday 359 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 420,212.

Tulsa County had 47 of Tuesday's cases. Its total now stands at 70,184, second to Oklahoma County's 79,968.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, fell from 797 to 776, its lowest point since early September. The record of 4,256 was set Jan. 13.

Tulsa County's seven-day average fell from 190 to 186. The record is 647, set Jan. 9. Oct. 29 was the last time the seven-day average was below 100.

The state reported 24 deaths, with 16 of them happening since Jan. 1. Two Tulsa County men 65 or older were among the deaths reported Tuesday.

Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 4,227 Oklahomans, 676 of them Tulsa County residents. The state has reported an average of 23.7 deaths the past seven days.

There were 666 Oklahomans with positive COVID tests hospitalized on Monday evening, 27 fewer than on Friday. The highest number so far was 1,994 hospitalized on Jan. 5. There were 183 COVID-positive Oklahomans in intensive care units on Monday, 20 fewer than on Friday. 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.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 149 COVID-positive residents hospitalized as of Monday evening, two more than on Friday. The state's reporting change does not affect regional numbers.

Over the course of the pandemic, 23,700 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Monday, the state reported 10% of adult ICU beds and 15% of medical surgery beds available across all facility types. Also as of Monday, the OKC region was at tier two of a four-tier hospital surge plan, meaning 15% to 20% of patients tested positive for COVID-19 for at least three consecutive days. All other regions are at tier one.

The state health department reported 1,348 additional patients as recovered on Tuesday, bringing the total to 401,945. 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 14,040 active cases of COVID-19, 1,013 fewer than the day before. It's the state's first time with fewer than 15,000 active cases since Oct. 29. The record is 43,163, set Jan. 11.

Tulsa County reported 250 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 67,672. The county has 1,836 active cases, 205 fewer than the day before and the first time the county has had fewer than 2,000 since Oct. 8. The record is 6,731, set Jan. 11.

The state's reported overall positive test rate was 11.2%, on Monday, unchanged for a week. Out of 14,479 tests reported on Monday, 7.8% were positive. Monday's reported tests include Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Testing has been suppressed recently, with some of the lowest daily totals since the summer. 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 Monday, that rate was 12.2%, unchanged for two weeks.

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.