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Carter County on pace to record 5,000 COVID-19 cases by next week

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite

COVID-19 continues to spread across Oklahoma as Carter County officially nears 5,000 total cases of the disease. Even as the average number of new daily cases statewide slowly drops from record highs after the holidays, deaths linked to the disease continue to be reported by the state health department at an alarming rate. 

Carter County has recorded 1,992 cases of COVID-19 this month, or about 41% of all cases in the county during the pandemic.

Oklahoma has recorded 379,110 total cases of COVID-19 after 2,686 new cases were recorded Wednsday, according to the OSDH COVID-19 dashboard. The number of deaths statewide climbed to 3,3388 after 65 new deaths were reported by OSDH. 

Carter County has recorded 4,826 cases of the disease since March, including 37 new cases reported Wednesday. The seven-day average of new daily cases leveled off just over 40 after a steep drop from over 130, according to OSDH data compiled by The Ardmoreite. 

Despite the steep drop, Carter County is on pace to surpass 5,000 reported cases of COVID-19 by next week. This month has already accounted for 1,992 of the county’s 4,826 confirmed cases. 

Statewide deaths are still being recorded at a rate unseen any other time during the pandemic. The seven-day average of new daily deaths surpassed 40 for the first time on Jan. 24 and has nearly doubled since late December. 

Forty-eight of the 65 deaths reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health Wednesday occurred since Jan. 1, and 39 of them since Jan. 20.

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.  

The Oklahoma Veterans Center in Ardmore has reported 41 deaths and 60 recoveries according Shawn Kirkland, Director of Homes for the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs. Eight veterans in Ardmore are among the 28 veterans statewide currently infecting with the coronavirus at six of the department’s seven homes, Kirkland said in a Tuesday email. 

The outbreak that started in early December seems to have stopped spreading. The Ardmore facility had recorded 102 cases on Jan. 2 and 109 cases by Jan. 19, a number that has remained steady since. The facility recorded the first resident death on Dec. 16 and 20 deaths by Jan. 2.  

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.