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June marks worst month for new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations in Oklahoma

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite
Oklahoma has recorded 13,172 cases of COVID-19, with 9,587 recovered and 385 deaths.

After days of record breaking new case confirmations, the number of new cases reported Monday fell to its lowest in about two weeks. June set a record for most new monthly COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma at the onset of a recent surge, and also marked a steep decline in the number of deaths related to the disease. 

By Monday, June had recorded more than 6,600 new cases of COVID-19 and 51 virus-related deaths. 

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, a total of 13,172 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Oklahoma. While the number of new confirmed cases in June dwarfs the previous monthly record of 3,000 recorded in April, the number of deaths in June has been a fraction of the 199 deaths recorded in April. 

Carter County has recorded 82 cases of COVID-19, with 68 recoveries and one death.

Carter County doubled the number of COVID-19 cases in June. The 41 cases reported on May 31 jumped to 82 cases by June 26 and held steady through Monday. The lone Carter County death linked to the virus was recorded in April and is among the 385 total deaths reported in the state.

A recent surge in new virus-related hospitalizations statewide also put June as one of the worst months for COVID-19 hospitalizations in Oklahoma. Nearly 540 new hospitalizations were recorded across the state in April, and 504 have been recorded in June, as of Monday. The seven-day average of new reported hospitalizations has steadily climbed during the second half of June to its highest level to date.

The seven-day average of new daily virus-related hospitalizations grew to the highest level recorded.

Through the second half of April, when data became publicly available, daily OSDH reports showed upwards of 300 people hospitalized on any given day — April 17 reported 325 current hospitalizations. That number gradually fell to 111 on June 19 but jumped to 329 just eight days later. Statewide numbers of hospitalized patients are not updated daily and can be difficult to determine.

“It is hard to keep track of the exact number of hospitalizations due to fluctuations and transfers,” said Julie Williamson, OSDH Public Information Officer for District 8. Three Carter County patients were in the hospital Monday due to the virus and 34 hospitalizations have been recorded in the nine counties that make up the southern Oklahoma district.

Despite the recent increase in hospitalizations statewide, hospital resources in Oklahoma appear to be keeping pace. Some resources, like adult and pediatric ICU bed availability, dropped below 25% on some days between June 23 and June 28, according to OSDH Executive Order Report data. Personal protective equipment supplies have steadily improved since April and appear supplied to support nearly 16 days of health care, up from less than 10 days in early April. 

New daily confirmed virus cases fell to some of the lowest levels recorded in two weeks, sending the seven-day average down.