Pandemic claims 16th Carter County life

Michael D. Smith

A Carter County man has become the most recent victim to the pandemic as the state’s death toll surpassed 1,900 on Monday. Active cases statewide again surpassed 30,000 over the weekend after beginning the month on a downward trend, while active cases in Carter County remained near 300 for a fifth consecutive day.

Oklahoma has confirmed at least 218,389 cases of COVID-19 after 5,144 new cases were reported between Sunday and Monday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. With over 3,200 new cases reported on Sunday and 1,900 new cases reported on Monday, the seven-day average of new daily cases held mostly steady at 2,949.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma surpassed 30,000 over the weekend after a brief drop at the beginning of the month.

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.

At least 1,911 deaths statewide have been linked to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus after 37 new deaths were reported between Sunday and Monday. The seven-day average of new daily deaths rose to 24 on Monday after starting below 14 on Dec. 1, but OSDH officials have said that deaths may not be immediately reported.

A surge in new cases of COVID-19 through November started weeks before the three most recent deaths were recorded in Carter County. Half of the county's COVID-19 deaths have been recorded since Sept. 30.

Among the 15 deaths reported on Monday was that of a Carter County man over the age of 65. He is the 16th county resident to die as a result of COVID-19. Half of the county’s deaths have been recorded since Sept. 30.

Active cases of the disease statewide surpassed 30,000 again over the weekend and climbed to 31,742 on Monday. Active cases in Carter County hovered near 300 through the weekend and remained at 299 on Monday, down from a record high 364 on Nov. 30. 

While the number of active COVID-19 cases in Carter County has dropped in recent days, the 299 cases on Monday is still six times higher than the number of active cases recorded through most of August.

Oklahoma’s top health official said the recent increase in case numbers was expected but is still troubling.

“Though we anticipated a rise in cases following the Thanksgiving holiday, this significant jump in our infection rate is alarming. I continue to implore Oklahomans to stay vigilant in our efforts,” said Dr. Lance Frye, state health commissioner, in a Saturday statement.

Carter County has seen a falling 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases since November.

Carter County has recorded 1,895 cases of COVID-19 since March, after 43 new cases were reported between Sunday and Monday. The seven-day average of new cases in the county continued a downward trend on Monday when it fell below 23, according to OSDH data compiled by The Ardmoreite.

“This is still a global pandemic that we must not grow weary of protecting our communities from, especially as we anticipate increased spread this winter season. If not for yourself, please follow the guidelines for our hospitals, frontline workers and your fellow Oklahomans who may need access to critical care in a healthcare setting,” Frye said.