Active COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations remain near record highs

Michael D. Smith

Active cases of COVID-19 in Carter County remained over 300 on Tuesday as hospitals in the state continue to treat nearly 1,700 people for the disease. 

Tuesday was only the ninth day that Carter County recorded more than 40 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day. The seven-day average of new daily cases also returned to its highest mark in about two weeks.

Oklahoma has recorded 241,991 cases of COVID-19 after 2,224 new cases were reported on Tuesday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The seven-day average of new daily cases has remained near 3,000 for over a week after it more than tripled between late October and late November, climbing as high as 3,318 on Nov. 26 according to OSDH data compiled by The Ardmoreite.

Deaths linked to the disease grew to 2,086 after 14 new deaths were reported on Tuesday. Almost 36% of COVID-19 deaths in Oklahoma have been recorded since Nov. 1.

OSDH data indicates Oklahoma hospitals have admitted over 150 new COVID-19 patients every day for the past two weeks. The number of currently hospitalized Oklahomans on Tuesday fell only slightly from the record 1,694 set on Saturday.

Even among the lowest numbers in two weeks Tuesday, the seven-day average of new daily hospitalizations for COVID-19 remained 10 times higher than mid-June levels.

At Mercy Hospital Ardmore on Tuesday, 37 patients were receiving care for COVID-19, nine more than were receiving treatment the day before. Eight of those patients on Tuesday were receiving ICU treatment, according to a hospital spokesperson. 

Active cases statewide fell slightly on Wednesday but not enough to stop the seven-day average of active cases from climbing to 32,411 on Tuesday, up from 31,944 the day before. The number of active cases in Oklahoma declined beginning in late November but returned to record levels by mid-December.

Active cases of COVID-19 in Carter County remained above 300 Tuesday after a steep drop early this month.

Carter County reported 311 active cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, marking the third day of active cases over 300. New cases rose by 43 to send the seven-day average of new daily cases to the highest in two weeks. 

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.