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State health report says community transmission spreading virus in Oklahoma

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite
More than 7,200 cases of COVID-19 were presumably active on Saturday, the highest daily number of cases not recorded as deceased or recovered.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout Oklahoma due to community transmission as the number of cases nears 48,000, according to state health data. Statewide deaths linked to the disease have been added at a steady pace over the last week and are on pace to surpass 200 in August.

Oklahoma added 1,695 new cases of COVID-19 between Friday and Saturday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. With 19 new deaths reported over the two days, the total death toll rose to 657 and the seven-day average of new daily virus-related deaths returned above seven.

Oklahoma recorded 901 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, the highest single-day increase in over a week. The seven-day average of new cases has remained below 700 for four days.

For the third consecutive week, the OSDH weekly epidemiology report pointed to community transmission as a reflection of the new positive cases recorded across the state. Community transmission can be reduced by keeping six feet of physical distance from others, wearing face coverings when around people from outside the household, avoiding face touching and regular hand washing.

Seven new cases of the disease and 14 recoveries were recorded in Carter County between Friday and Saturday. The number of cases not recorded as deceased or recovered fell from 56 on Sunday to 47 on Saturday, which is the lowest number of presumably active cases recorded on a single day this month.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Carter County not recorded as recovered or deceased fell to 54 on Saturday.

The statewide trend of presumably active cases reached an all-time high Saturday, when more than 7,200 cases in Oklahoma were not recorded as deceased or recovered.

July recorded the most new cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma and April recorded the most deaths linked to the disease. August is currently on pace to match or surpass each of these monthly records.

At least 400 new virus-releated hospitalizations were recorded last week. State data showed 567 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients were being treated in hospitals on Friday.

August has already recorded more than 11,300 new coronavirus cases and 116 deaths. By July 15, about 9,000 new monthly cases had been recorded. By April 15, 100 virus-related deaths had been recorded that month.

Coronavirus test results are returning positive at a climbing rate since early June, when less than 4% of all tested specimens returned positive. On Aug. 13, more than 7% of specimens tested positive, according to the OSDH weekly epidemiology report on Friday.

While Oklahoma ranks 31st in the number of total reported COVID-19 in the U.S. with 47,798 cases, the state ranks 27th in per capita incidence with 1,215 cases per 100,000 people.