Monday marks record high number of active virus cases in Oklahoma
The seven-day average of new daily deaths linked to COVID-19 in Oklahoma matched its highest level on Monday as new cases of the disease outpaced recoveries. Presumably active cases continued to set daily records just one day after a top White House coronavirus advisor visited the state to urge for face coverings.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma climbed to 48,711 after 369 new cases were recorded on Monday and 544 recorded on Sunday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Four new deaths were also recorded Monday, which sent the number of virus-related deaths in Oklahoma to 665. The state has recorded 60 deaths in seven days, putting the seven-day average of new daily deaths above eight for only the eighth time during the pandemic.
August has recorded 124 Oklahoma deaths linked to COVID-19, compared to 154 deaths recorded for the entire month of July and 199 deaths recorded for the entire month of April.
The number of confirmed cases not recorded as deceased or recovered continued an upward trend past record highs for a fifth consecutive day. With 7,515 presumably active cases statewide, Oklahoma has now seen three days with more than 7,000 presumably active cases.
Dr. Deborah Birx, part of the White House coronavirus task force, led a roundtable discussion at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa on Sunday. The meeting was closed to journalists, but state and local officials who attended said Birx was unwavering on the necessity for masks and distancing in public, according to the Associated Press.
A statement from Stitt's office said Birx complimented Oklahoma's push to use saliva testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
“There are a lot of levers we can pull, but at this point we are in really good shape,” Stitt said in the statement. “We have to be very cautious as kids are going back to school."
The state Department of Emergency Management has begun sending personal protective equipment for schools statewide as classes begin, some in-person and some by distance learning.
Items including masks, gloves, gowns and face shields were sent to distribution sites in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties Friday for schools in those regions, the department said, and deliveries to other regional sites will begin Monday.
Carter County has recorded a total 370 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 46 of them presumably active on Monday. Public and private schools in Ardmore, Healdton and Fox are scheduled to begin this week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report