State Reports 450 New COVID-19 Cases 1 Day After Setting Record with 259

Jun 18, 2020

Credit National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Oklahoma on Thursday smashed its record for new COVID-19 cases set just the day before.

The State Health Department reported 450 new cases Thursday — a 5% jump — bringing the state’s total to 9,354. There are more than 1,900 active infections.

The numbers were reportedly delayed because a technical problem at the state health department and did not come out until after Gov. Kevin Stitt participated in a small business round table with President Donald Trump at the White House, where he said Oklahoma is one of the first states to safely reopen.

"We had an uptick in the number of cases. And so, the media tries to talk about that, but we knew we were going to have an increase a little bit because we’re 56 days into reopening," Stitt said.

Stitt said many of the new cases are asymptomatic, a claim not borne out in health department data. Harvard epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding tweeted Oklahoma is now seeing the fastest increase in new cases of any state. 

"We’re testing so many more people right now than we were initially, and the positive cases are still 3.8%. So, we’ve seen a steady decline in the hospitalizations," Stitt said.

The state is testing more people than it did at first, but daily test numbers have leveled off recently, and daily positive test rates are higher than the state’s overall average.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations are down from early April but have increased since June 1, with 197 currently hospitalized. Two deaths were reported Thursday, and COVID-19 has now killed 366 Oklahomans.

Tulsa County also recorded a new record in cases for the second straight day, with 120 reported on Thursday. Tulsa County leads the state with 1,945 cases, 654 of them active. One-third of Tulsa County COVID-19 cases are in adults 18 to 35 years old, the most of any age group.