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Official virus death toll in Carter County reaches 25

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite
Oklahoma has recorded 834 deaths linked to COVID-19 in January.

The number of Carter County deaths linked to COVID-19 jumped to 25 on Tuesday as statewide deaths remain among the highest levels of the pandemic. Meanwhile, new cases reported daily and active cases statewide have fallen to lows not seen in several weeks. 

The deaths of two Carter County men, one between 50 and 64 years old and the other over 65 years, were reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health on Monday and marked seven reported deaths this month. They were among 30 new deaths reported statewide by OSDH. 

Oklahoma has recorded 376,424 total cases of COVID-19 after 1,571 new cases were recorded Tuesday, according to the OSDH COVID-19 dashboard. The number of deaths statewide climbed to 3,323. 

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths in Oklahoma fell for the first time in nearly a week but remained four times higher than anything seen through the first six months of the pandemic.

At least 40 deaths linked to COVID-19 have been reported at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Ardmore alone. A request for updated numbers on Tuesday was unanswered by press time. 

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. OSDH reports of confirmed cases and deaths linked to COVID-19 are known to be delayed by days or even weeks. 

Almost 57% of Oklahoma deaths have been reported since mid November as the average of daily reported deaths has surged dramatically in recent months, according to OSDH data compiled by The Ardmoreite.  

January in Carter County has recorded almost 41% of all COVID-19 cases in the county.

The seven-day average of new deaths reported in Oklahoma fell for the first time in a week on Tuesday, down slightly but still remaining over 40 for a third consecutive day. That average has doubled about every four weeks since Nov. 10, jumping from just below 11 and peaking above 42 on Monday. 

The surge in reported COVID-19 deaths comes about two weeks after a massive surge in newly reported cases this month. The seven-day average of new daily cases reported has remained around 2,600 for almost a week, down from a record 4,256 on Jan. 13.  

Two out of every three cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma have been recorded since Nov. 1, and about 20% of all COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma have been recorded this month. 

While the holiday spike in COVID-19 case numbers seems to be slowing, trends continue to show uncontrolled community spread of the coronavirus. The number of active cases in Carter County has been over 100 since Oct. 10, over 200 since Nov. 11, over 300 since Dec. 13, and over 500 since Jan 2. 

Three area counties, including Carter County, are among the top five counties with the most active cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma, when adjusted for population, according to data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the U.S. Census Bureau compiled by The Ardmoreite.

Oklahoma has not recorded fewer than 30,000 active cases of the virus since Dec. 31. 

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. 

Editor's note: A graphic published on Jan. 21 included a tabulation error that improperly ranked counties based on active COVID-19 cases adjusted for population. The tabulation error has been resolved for graphics in this story. The Ardmoreite regrets the erro