Tulsa County Surpasses 20,000 COVID Cases as State Keeps Breaking Records

Oct 16, 2020

Credit Food and Drug Administration

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Friday 1,472 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 105,308.

Tulsa County had 214 of Friday's cases and became the second in the state to surpass 20,000 cases as its total hit 20,102. Oklahoma County leads the state with 21,506.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, declined from a new high of 1,182 to 1,174. Since Sept. 19, the seven-day average has been below 1,000 just two days.

Tulsa County's seven-day average dropped from 201 to 184. The county's seven-day average had last topped 200 on Aug. 10.

The state reported 11 deaths, with two in the past 24 hours. A McClain County man between 50 and 64 years old was reported dead, along with 10 adults 65 or older, including four in Oklahoma County and one in Tulsa County. Since March 18, COVID-19 has officially killed 1,154 Oklahomans. Oklahoma County leads the state with 216 deaths. Tulsa County has the second-highest number of deaths, 183.

There were 793 Oklahomans hospitalized for COVID-19 on Thursday evening, 12 more than on Wednesday and a new record for the state for the seventh time in the past two weeks. Of those hospitalized Thursday, 735 had positive coronavirus tests. Overall, 291 Oklahomans hospitalized for COVID-19 were in intensive care units, two fewer than Wednesday's total, which was a new record for the second straight day.

According to the state health department, Tulsa County had 201 residents hospitalized, 18 more than the day before.

Over the course of the pandemic, 7,679 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Thursday, the state reported 10% of its adult ICU beds were available.

The state health department reported 1,035 additional patients as recovered on Friday, bringing the total to 89,815. 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 14,339 active cases of COVID-19, 426 more than the day before and a new high for the third straight day.

Tulsa County reported 138 additional patients as recovered, bringing the total to 17,564. The county has 2,355 active cases, 75 more than the day before and a new high for the fourth straight day.

The state's reported overall positive test rate remained at 8.2% on Thursday. Out of 19,474 tests reported on Thursday, 6.4% 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 Thursday, that rate was 7.3%, unchanged from Wednesday.

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.

Only Ellis County was at the green level, indicating lowest risk of transmission, on Friday on the state health department's updated COVID alert map. Seven counties — Cimarron, Coal, Cotton, Dewey, Latimer, Noble and Tillman — were at the yellow level, one more than last week.

Oklahoma's remaining 69 counties were at the orange level, indicating highest risk of transmission. Tulsa County's rate of new cases per 100,000 population was up 40% this week, rising from 22 to 30.8. This week's highest rate of new cases was 67.3 in Kiowa County.

Regardless of transmission rates, counties are not classified at red, the alert map's highest level, unless their region has filled half of the hospital beds available under a surge plan, or unless the statewide average of  personal protective equipment on hand is less than five days or fewer than 5% of ventilators are available.