Frye: "I want to be clear about the urgency of the situation"
While many of the recently confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma are part of a backlog of results, the state’s top health official is warning citizens that the pandemic is an urgent situation.
Oklahoma has recorded over 213,000 cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus after 4,827 new cases were reported on Friday and 4,370 new cases were reported on Saturday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Only two other days have seen OSDH report more than 4,000 new cases in a day, but backlogs of reporting have been responsible for some of these record numbers.
“After further review, it looks like the case level should have been reported as roughly 3,000 cases per day on 12/2, 12/3 and 12/4,” said state health commissioner Dr. Lance Frye in a Friday statement.
According to data compiled by The Ardmoreite, based on daily reporting from OSDH, the seven-day average of new cases jumped dramatically to over 3,000 on Saturday. Because of the discrepancies in when cases were reported and when they were actually tested, OSDH revised the seven-day average of new daily cases to 2,551.
Some of the test results posted by OSDH on Friday dated as far back as Nov. 11. 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.
“As a reminder, the daily case number never represents a pure one-day increase, as reports of new cases come in from all over the state and therefore are staggered over multiple days. The 7-day rolling average provides a more representative trendline for COVID-19 cases in the state,” said Frye.
“That said, I want to be clear about the urgency of the situation. These totals are far too high. This is a pandemic and we must not grow weary of protecting ourselves, our family and our communities,” he continued.
Oklahoma also recorded 38 new COVID-19 deaths between Friday and Saturday, which sent the pandemic death toll in the state to 1,874. The seven-day average of new daily deaths in Oklahoma rose to a record high 22.43 on Saturday, according to data compiled by The Ardmoreite.
Carter County has recorded 1,852 cases of COVID-19 after 66 new cases were confirmed between Friday and Saturday. The number of active cases in the county on Friday dropped below 300 for the first time since Nov. 22, and at least 298 active cases were reported on Saturday.
The number of active cases statewide rose to 30,561 on Saturday, climbing above 30,000 for the first time since Nov. 30. The most active cases recorded in Oklahoma on a single day was 33,317 on Nov. 25.
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.