3rd Carter County school impacted by COVID-19, active cases statewide reaches record high

Michael D. Smith
Oklahoma recorded 8,749 confirmed cases of COVID-19 that were not deceased or recovered on Monday. At last 570 Oklahomans were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

The number of presumably active cases of COVID-19 rose above 8,700 on Monday as 570 Oklahomans were receiving hospital care for a confirmed or suspected case of the disease. The seven-day average of new daily deaths linked to the coronavirus also remained among the highest recorded during the pandemic.

Schools have started to implement safety protocols as a growing number of students and staff are confirmed to have the coronavirus. Wilson Public Schools on Saturday announced a positive test result and a resulting quarantine of at least one class.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Monday reported 58,733 confirmed coronavirus cases and 800 deaths, increases of 713 cases and one additional death from those reported Sunday. 

Oklahoma marked 800 COVID-19 deaths Monday. The seven-day average of daily deaths in the state was 10, among the highest recorded in Oklahoma during the pandemic.

The true number of cases in Oklahoma is likely higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The department reported 49,184 people have recovered. The number of people not recorded as deceased or recovered rose to 8,749, the highest number of presumably active cases recorded.

New daily hospitalizations and the number of people receiving care also remain high. The seven-day average of new daily hospitalizations remained near 55 on Monday and have not fallen below 50 since July 21.

While only seven new hospitalizations statewide connected to COVID-19 were recorded Monday, the seven-day average has not dropped below 50 new daily hospitalizations since July.

Nearly half of the 4,821 hospitalizations recorded by OSDH on Monday were reported between July 21 and Aug. 31.

At least 570 Oklahomans were receiving hospital care for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Monday, the most since Aug 14. Mercy Hospital Ardmore was caring for six COVID-19 patients including two receiving ICU care, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Carter County has recorded 411 people with the coronavirus, after six new cases were recorded Monday. Active cases rose to 43 after several days when fewer than 40 people were not recorded as deceased or recovered. 

Carter County has recorded 411 people have tested positive for COVID-19, with 362 recoveries and six deaths. Wilson accounts for 25 cases, with only Ardmore accounting for more confirmed cases in the county.

Wilson Public Schools on Saturday announced someone associated with the district received a positive test result for the coronavirus but did not identify how that person is connected.

"The students, faculty and staff that were in close contact with this individual have been notified and mandated to quarantine at home for 14 days," read the district's post on social media.

Superintendent Tonya Finnerty addressed concerns on the school's Facebook page over the weekend to remind parents that the unidentified individual's positive test result would not result in the entire campus closing.

"Only the class affected will be quarantining. The parents of those students have already been contacted," Finnerty wrote on Saturday.

Wilson is the third Carter County school district with a confirmed case of COVID-19. On Aug. 12, Dickson Public Schools announced two students had tested positive for COVID-19. Affected classes were sent home but allowed to resume the following day after further consultation with the Carter County Health Department.

On Thursday, Springer Public Schools announced that a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19. The school system made the decision to move to distance learning for two weeks because of how many teachers had close contact with the infected person.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.