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COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths surge

Robby Short

The Oklahoma Department of Health reported 21 new deaths associated with COVID-19 along with 170 new hospitalizations on Tuesday, the latter of which marked a grim new milestone for the state.

The new deaths marked the second highest daily reported total since the pandemic began in March — with the highest 22 associated deaths reported eight days ago. Tuesday’s 21 reported deaths was the fifth time since March that reported deaths rose above 20, four of those days have occurred in the previous eight-day span.

With 170 new hospitalizations associated with the disease, the state eclipsed the previous high-water mark of 149 for new hospitalizations reached on October 20. The state reported 974 Oklahoma residents remained hospitalized as of Tuesday, a new high for the state.

Tuesday’s reported 1,331 new infections marked the sixth consecutive day where new infections rose about the 1,000 mark.

In Carter County, the number of active infections fell to 163 with 10 new confirmed infections and 16 new presumed recoveries. 

Madill High School announced on Tuesday that it would transition to distance learning "due to an increase in absences due to positive cases, quarantines or other illnesses/ circumstances."  According to the announcement, "the remaining sites, middle school, elementary, and early childhood center will continue face to face instruction at this time."

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

For most people, the 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.