ENID, Okla. — An Enid hospital reported the death of a patient who had tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, as the number of cases in Garfield County rose by 15 since Wednesday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
"As COVID-19 continues to take its toll in Oklahoma and across the country, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center is saddened to confirm a patient passed away who had tested positive for COVID-19. We send our heartfelt condolences to the family during this difficult time," said Lori Boyd, director of marketing for St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.
Boyd said Thursday morning there were four inpatients who have tested positive for the virus in addition to the death, which has not yet been confirmed through the Health Department. There were three patients, including one in intensive care, at Integris Bass Baptist Health Center as of Wednesday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman.
The city of Enid actually gained 16 cases of COVID-19, according to information reported Thursday by the OSDH. The department said earlier this week that it will take a few days for numbers to beginning matching because of a backlog of 820 previously unreported cases that were discovered.
Counties in northern and northwestern Oklahoma with case increases on Thursday, per the OSDH website, included three in Woodward, two in Major and one each in Kingfisher, Noble and Woods. Additional cases per city included three in Woodward and one each in Alva, Cleo Springs and Kingfisher.
While the real-time total count of COVID-19 cases was confirmed by OSDH to be 28,802 statewide on Thursday, representing a gain of 737 compared by Wednesday's 28,065, the summary reports on the website only 668 cases were gained from the prior day because of the backlog.
"The discrepancy in numbers is the backlog of cases that require verification on demographics. The total number of cases is 28,802 and 27,969 of those cases have been fully verified with demographic info. like county of origin," said Rob Crissinger, a communications and media relations manager with OSDH.
Despite the backlog and some delays in reporting data, the state has a good system, said Maggie Jackson, OSDH regional director of community engagement and health planning for District 2, which covers Blaine, Canadian, Garfield, Grant, Kingfisher, Logan and Major counties. Jackson also represents the Alfalfa County office.
"Yes we are seeing the same (local) impact" in regard to an increase in number of cases, Jackson said, "and there is a delay in state reports."
She said that delay allows the state to run the data by acute disease screening for verification purposes before the numbers become part of the state's official data.
More staff, more support and better software is needed at the state levels, she said, but the verification system "is robust."
"We're working on drilling down our local data a little better," Jackson said, adding she is excited about the possibilities a new epidemiologist is bringing to the table. With more staff, she said, local data will be more indepth, and she can provide city leaders with a better picture of how the virus is working in their city.
For example, she said, Oklahoma City has identified "five high risk scenarios," such as bars and restaurants, gyms and churches and events — gatherings that offer an enhanced risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
"I just want a better story when it comes to local communities," she said.
Currently, she believes that events that are attracting large crowds of people are responsible for community spread of the virus, as well as celebrations as residents are opening up their homes more because they feel like safe places to gather.
She suggests holding events outdoors when possible to help promote more social distancing.
Jackson, who has school-aged children, said her best advice for the coming school year would be for parents and adults to model behaviors such as wearing masks, washing hands, using hand sanitizer and practicing social distancing.
"We can all help with that," she said.
In addition to the 2.6% increase in cases, there were three deaths confirmed by the OSDH on Thursday morning, a Grady County man in the 50-64 age group and two McCurtain County women in the 65 and older age range.
Of the 28,802 cases of COVID-19 in the state, 5,051 were active, and 22,441 had recovered, including 845 since Wednesday's report, according to OSDH as of Thursday morning's update. OSDH defines recovered as "not hospitalized or deceased and 14 days after onset/report."
The number of overall COVID-19 cases represents less than 1%, or .73, of Oklahoma's population, which was listed at 3,956,971 in July 2019, according to census.gov.
There have been a total of 2,596 hospitalizations, a single-day increase of 56, associated with COVID-19 since it was detected in the state in March. Of those, 607 currently are hospitalized as having or suspected of having the virus, a single-day increase of 21, according to OSDH's Thursday evening executive report. There were 260 in intensive care, the report states.
In Oklahoma, there have been 518,134 total specimens collected for COVID-19 testing, with 485,206, just less than 94%, that have been negative, according to OSDH.
More than a third of the cases, 10,173, in the state have been confirmed in the 18-35 age range, according to OSDH. That age group continues to consistently see the most numbers of increases daily, OSDH data shows.
Cumulative totals of confirmed cases of the virus as of Thursday were 624 in the 0-4 age group, 2,237 in the 5-17 age group, 10,173 in the 18-35 age group, 6,100 in the 36-49 age group, 4,896 in the 50-64 age group and 3,939 in the 65 and older age group.
Of those testing positive, 14,399, or 50.01%, have been female, and 13,518 have been male. There are 52 listed as "unknown" gender, and 96 remain unaccounted for due to the backlog, according to OSDH data on Thursday.
Of the overall 477 deaths in the state associated with the virus and confirmed by the OSDH as of Thursday, 382 or 80.08%, have been 65 and older; 71 or 14.89%, have been in the 50-64 age group; 16, or 3.35%, have been in the 36-49 age group; 7, or 1.47%, have been in the 18-35 age group; and one, or .21%, has been in the 5-17 age group. More men, 250, than women, 227, have succumbed to the virus. The average age of those who have died is 74.8.
OSDH reports 78.6% of those who have died have had a pre-existing condition. Just less than half of the deaths, 234, have been long-term care or nursing home cases, according to OSDH. There have been 1,278 cases among long-term care residents and 753 cases among staff, according to OSDH's Executive Report filed Thursday evening.
Data shows deaths in 49 of Oklahoma's 77 counties, with 89 in Tulsa County; 85 in Oklahoma County; 40 in Cleveland County; 39 in Washington County; 19 each in Delaware, McCurtain and Wagoner counties; 16 in Muskogee County; 11 each in Caddo and Rogers counties; 9 each in Comanche, Creek, Kay and Osage counties; 7 each in Greer and Texas counties; 6 each in Grady and Pottawatomie counties; 5 each in Mayes and Seminole counties; 4 each in Adair, Canadian and McClain counties; 3 each in Carter, Garvin, Jackson, Pawnee, Pittsburg and Sequoyah counties; 2 each in Cotton, Garfield, Lincoln, Noble, Ottawa, Payne and Pontotoc counties; and 1 each in Bryan, Cherokee, Choctaw, Hughes, Kiowa, Latimer, Leflore, Logan, Major, McIntosh, Nowata, Stephens and Tillman counties.
COVID-19 data released Thursday for Northwest Oklahoma counties shows Garfield with 201 cases, 135 recovered and two deaths, a woman in the 36-49 age group in June and an 86-year-old from Garfield County in April; Kingfisher with 71 cases, 57 recovered; Noble with 66 cases, 50 recovered and two deaths, including a Billings man in the 65 and older age range; Woodward with 26 cases, 16 recovered; Blaine with 24 cases, 18 recovered; Major with 20 cases, 16 recovered and one death, a woman in 18-35 age group in April; Woods with 16 cases, 11 recovered; Grant with five cases, four recovered; and Alfalfa with one recovered case.
Cumulative COVID-19 cases by city or town in Northwest Oklahoma include 186 in Enid (60 active); 31 in Kingfisher (eight active); 22 in Woodward (nine active); 19 in Hennessey (five active); 17 in Okarche (one active); 11 each in Alva (two active) and Watonga (two active); eight in Fairview; seven in Cashion; six each in Geary (one active) and Ringwood (one active); four each in Freedom (four active), Garber (one active), Lahoma and Pond Creek (two active); three in Longdale (one active); two each in Dover, Laverne, Marshall, Meno, Okeene (one active), Seiling and Waukomis (one active); and one each in Canton (one active), Cleo Springs (one active), Fort Supply, Hitchcock, Jet, Lamont, Medford and Mooreland, according to data released by OSDH on Thursday. Residents living in areas with under 100 in population or those with unknown addresses may be recorded as "other."
In Enid, there have been 90 cases with 61 recovered, from the 73701 Zip Code, primarily the eastern half of the city, and 96 cases with 64 recovered from 73703, or the western half, according to OSDH data on Thursday. There also has been one recovered case in the 73705 Zip Code, which is listed as Vance Air Force Base at https://www.unitedstateszipcodes.org/.
Long-term care facilities
Nursing homes with resident- or staff-related COVID-19 cases have remained light in Northwest Oklahoma, according to OSDH reports, with eight in Enid — three at The Arbors, one of which was reported July 14 in the OSDH's Executive Report; two at The Commons in April; and one at Garland Road Nursing & Rehabilitation, which officials at the facility say subsequently tested negative. Golden Oaks Retirement Community verified July 3 that a contract employee had tested positive for COVID-19 and on July 15 that another contract employee had tested positive, but the facility is not listed on the OSDH report.
Positive tests in long-term care facilities in the area include one each in Blaine and Woods counties, two in Woodward County, five in Kingfisher County and five at Center of Love in Okarche in Canadian County. There have been two in Major County, including one staff member at Seiling Nursing Center who lived in Major County, tested positive and died in April, according to OSDH data.
State Health Department officials are encouraging Oklahomans to get tested for COVID-19, saying recently that due to adequate supplies, residents no longer need to exhibit symptoms or report exposure to someone with the virus to get in line for testing.
Free testing for COVID-19 is ongoing at the Garfield County and other state Health Departments. Testing is by appointment only for Blaine County, 521 W. 4th, Watonga, (580) 623-7977; Garfield County, 2501 S. Mercer, Enid, (580) 233-0650; Grant County, 115 N. Main, Medford, (580) 395-2906; Kingfisher County, 124 E. Sheridan, courthouse annex room #101, Kingfisher, (405) 375-3008; Major County, 501 E. Broadway, Fairview, (580) 227-3362; Noble County, 300 Fir St., Perry, (580) 336-2257; Woods County, 511 Barnes St., Alva, (580) 327-3192; and Woodward County, 1631 Texas Ave., Woodward, (580) 256-6416. For a full list of county drive-through testing, go to https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/drive-thru-testing. Some health department also advise the public to check their Facebook pages for more information regarding testing.
Emergency warning signs for COVID-19 are trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face, according to the CDC. More information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
Those with symptoms of COVID-19 should call ahead to local emergency rooms. Those with minor symptoms should contact their regular physicians.
Resources and information on COVID-19 can be obtained by calling 211 or going to https://covidresources.ok.gov/.
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