Oklahoma records 225 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Michael Smith
As of Saturday, 8,073 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state, with 6,495 total recoveries. The number of deaths associated with the disease remained at 359. Those listed as recovered were not hospitalized or deceased 14 days after onset or report.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma has jumped in recent days with Friday and Saturday recording a combined 447 cases. New cases in Carter County have slowed this month but state health officials anticipate the virus to continue spreading across the state.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpassed 8,000 Saturday when 225 new cases were reported. That was higher than Friday’s new case count of 222, which was the highest one-day increase since the pandemic’s onset. State health officials say the growing number of cases is tied to ongoing community transmission.

“The threat of COVID-19 still exists and we anticipate it to grow,” read the OSDH Weekly Epidemiology Report for the week ending June 12. “It is critical of Oklahomans to seek out testing.”

Confirmed cases in Carter County increased to 57 on Saturday, up from the 51 recorded on June 6. In that time, the number of local recoveries jumped from 37 to 49. Carter County cases not deceased or recovered on Saturday were all recorded in Ardmore.

According to a June 8 Executive Order Report from OSDH, Southbrook Healthcare is the first long-term care facility in the county to report a case of the virus. When reached for comment Saturday, staff at Southbrook directed all questions to management which could not be reached.

OSDH District 8 Public Information Officer Julie Williamson said the Carter County long-term care facility with a positive COVID-19 case was from a resident. “The individual is in isolation and infection control measures are in place,” she said Saturday.

Starting Monday, Oklahoma nursing homes can begin a phased approach to allow visitations to resume. Nursing homes will have to have an absence of COVID-19 for at least two weeks and will need to follow standards on staffing levels, availability of personal protective equipment and local hospital capacity, according to The Oklahoman.

Statewide testing appears to be slowing. Between June 7 and June 13, 29,379 test results were reported, compared to the peak of nearly 37,000 between May 17 and May 23. A total of 252,624 specimens have been tested in Oklahoma.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, Oklahoma ranks 30th in testing per capita with only 6,123 tested per 100,000 residents. Rhode Island leads the nation in testing per capita with 17,762 tests per 100,000 residents.

“Since COVID-19 was first introduced in Oklahoma, testing availability has radically improved and the State’s hospital surge plan, expanding bed capacity by 40%, remains activated,” read Saturday’s report from OSDH.

“The need to physically distance, wear a mask, wash hands often, and adhere to instruction to quarantine and isolate remain critically important,” the statement concluded.