Virus surge slows in Carter County, statewide deaths remain near record high

Michael D. Smith

As Carter County and the state continued a slowing surge of new and active cases of COVID-19, new deaths from the disease neared a record high in the state on Thursday. Hospitalizations linked to the pandemic also continue to strain resources across the state as over 1,600 hospital beds remained occupied with COVID-19 patients.

Oklahoma has now recorded 225,453 cases of COVID-19 after 2,460 new cases were reported on Thursday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The state reported a staggering 35 new deaths on Thursday, marking the highest number of deaths reported in a single day second only to Dec. 12. 

The state department of Health on Thursday reported 35 new deaths related to COVID-19, marking the second-highest jump in a single day. The less volatile seven-day average of daily deaths linked to the disease returned above 20 for only the sixth time.

Health officials have said that COVID-19 deaths are not always reported immediately, including the 54 deaths reported on Dec. 12 that dated as far back as October. The seven-day average of new deaths in Oklahoma, which officials have said is a clearer indication of rates, climbed to 21 on Thursday, according to OSDH data compiled by The Ardmoreite.

Of the 1,980 deaths in Oklahoma that have been linked to COVID-19, about half have been reported since Sept. 25 and about one-third have been reported since Nov. 1.

Health care infrastructure continues to be stretched thin with 146 new hospitalizations reported Thursday, sending the seven-day average of new hospitalizations down slightly to 144. The number of patients receiving hospital care has not dropped below 1,600 statewide since Nov. 25, according to OSDH daily situation reports.

Oklahoma on Thursday reported 146 new hospitalizations linked to COVID-19, almost mirroring the seven-day average. More that 1,640 patients were receiving hospital care for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Thursday.

The trend of new and active cases statewide continued to level off Thursday. Active cases fell for a third consecutive day to 29,244, and the seven-day average of new cases fell to 3,058. 

Even with statewide trends showing a slowing surge, the first 10 days of December have recorded almost 60% more new cases than the first 10 days of November when the recent surge started.

Carter County continued an apparently slowing surge in new and active cases of COVID-19. The county reported 15 new cases of the disease, which sent the seven-day average of new cases up slightly to 22.3. The number of active cases in the county fell to 225 on Thursday, down by six from the day before and down by 71 over the week.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Carter County fell to 225 on Thursday, the lowest number since Nov. 13.

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.