ENID, Okla. — All Enid Public Schools students will continue with distance learning after Thanksgiving break, as the number of new daily COVID-19 cases in Garfield County topped out at an average of 72.5 per 100,000, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health Friday.

Oklahoma saw a gain of 2,921 new COVID-19 cases, 26 of those in Garfield County, with 15 more deaths reported statewide on Friday, according to the OSDH. The 1.8% rise in Oklahoma’s cases brought the overall total to 167,261 since the virus was confirmed in the state in March.

Enid Public Schools

EPS board members voted early in the school year that the district will go to distance learning for two weeks when OSDH’s risk map shows the county with more than 50 daily new cases on a seven-day average, with a seven-day lag, which happened for the first time last Friday.

Enid schools began distance learning on Monday through the week-long Thanksgiving break. With the average still well more than 50 on Friday, schools will be out the week following the break, as well.

“EPS will continue to conduct virtual distance learning districtwide. During that time period a deep cleaning for all school facilities will also take place,” said Enid Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd. “We will continue to monitor COVID numbers to determine future plans and future procedures, but as it stands right now the earliest date of returning to in person instruction would be Monday, December 7.”

Every county in the state was considered at moderate, or “orange,” risk for COVID-19 on Friday, according to OSDH. Oklahoma State School Board Association has adopted a map that puts a county in “red” after the 50 average daily new cases per 100,000 is met, but OSDH uses those average cases plus hospital census and ventilator and personal protection availability as triggers for that designation.

The district will not serve meals next week during Thanksgiving break, Nov. 23-27, but will resume distribution of meals 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the week of Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. Families can drive through the pick-up line between the Central Kitchen, 519 S. Washington, and the Administrative Services Center, 500 S. Independence, or at Waller Middle School, 2604 W. Randolph. Meals for students younger than 18 will be on a table for patrons to pick them up. Students must be in the vehicle.

Quarantines from close contact (defined by the CDC as 15 cumulative minutes within 6 feet) account for 90% of the 297 students and staff currently affected by COVID-19. The district on Friday reported 31 individuals in isolation for testing positive, 25 of which are EPS staff members.

Most of those positive transmissions occurred out in the community, while quarantines mostly occur from close contacts at school, Maggie Jackson with the county Health Department said Monday.

School officials in Enid have followed state and county health recommendations to mandate masks and enforce social distancing policies since school began in August.

“EPS is working closely with health professionals and relies heavily on their guidance because they are the experts,” district communications director Jane Johnson said in an email Thursday. “The district will continue to follow their advice, and in an effort to be transparent with the families, staff and stakeholders, I place the counts on the spreadsheet based on what the individual schools report to me.”

Daily update

Garfield County saw its average cases per day rise from 67.6 per 100,000 last week to 72.5 this week, according to OSDH. Other county averages in Northwest Oklahoma reported Friday were 268.1 in Alfalfa, 45.5 in Blaine, 95.6 in Grant, 87 in Kingfisher, 123.6 in Major, 199.8 in Woods and 132.2 in Woodward.

State Health Commissioner Lance Frye several weeks ago called this seven-day average, along with hospitalizations, the more accurate indicators of the coronavirus in Oklahoma, rather than more lagging counts of deaths or daily cases.

As of Friday, 30,724 of the state’s cases were active, a single-day increase of 240, with 134,934 recovered, including 2,666 since Thursday’s OSDH report.

There have been 1,603 Oklahomans who have died either due to COVID-19 or from complications of the virus, according to OSDH.

Twelve of the deaths reported Friday were in the 65 and older age group: two Tulsa County women, a man and a woman from Oklahoma County, men from Beaver, Caddo, Jackson, Kay, Rogers and Seminole counties and women from Pottawatomie and Seminole counties. There were two deaths in the 36-49 age range: two men in Marshall and Pontotoc counties. The OSDH also reported the death of a Garvin County man in the 50-64 age group, according to OSDH.

Cumulative COVID-19-positive hospitalizations in Oklahoma climbed to 11,020, a single-day increase of 186, according to the OSDH Executive Report Friday evening. Of those, 1,505 were in hospitals, a single-day increase of 77, with 450 in intensive care, an increase of 29. There were 1,130 persons seeking hospital care in the 24 hours prior to the report who self-quarantined.

In Enid on Friday, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center reported 28 patients positive for COVID-19, an increase of five, and one new death. Integris Bass Baptist Health Center had 21 COVID-19-positive patients, an increase of two.

Adult ICU bed availability in the state was at 6% and medical/surgical beds were at 13% availability statewide, with a 99% hospital response rate, according to the OSDH Executive Report on Friday evening. That same report shows the Northwest region for OSDH with 76 cases, a single-day decrease of seven, and 12 persons under investigation for the virus.

Northwest Oklahoma county case increases on Friday also included 25 in Woodward, 13 in Kingfisher, eight in Woods, seven in Grant, six each in Alfalfa and Major, five in Noble and four in Blaine, according to OSDH.

Case gains in Northwest Oklahoma cities and towns included 27 in Enid, 21 in Woodward, five each in Alva, Fairview and Helena, four each in Hennessey and Medford, three each in Kingfisher and Pond Creek, two each in Cherokee, Fort Supply, Goltry, Okeene and Woodward and one each in Aline, Canton, Cashion, Cleo Springs, Mooreland, Watonga and Waynoka.

State update

OSDH reported 1,975,039 cumulative specimens have been tested for COVID-19 in the state this year, with 1,789,645, or just less than 91% of those negative. Those testing positive represent 4.23% of the state’s population, listed at 3,956,971 in 2019, according to census.gov.

There have been 87,507 Oklahoma women and 79,605 men who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to OSDH as of Friday. There were 149 designated as unknown gender.

The 18-35 age group, with 864 new cases confirmed Friday, made up 33.4% of cases in the state. Other new case gains were 675 in the 36-49 age group, 571 in the 50-64 age group, 406 in the 65 and older age group, 357 in the 5-17 age group and 44 in the 0-4 group.

Cumulative totals of confirmed cases as of Friday were 3,032 in the 0-4 age group, 16,999 in the 5-17 age group, 55,944 in the 18-35 age group, 36,296 in the 36-49 age group, 31,168 in the 50-64 age group and 23,806 in the 65 and older age group. There were 16 listed as unknown age.

Of the overall 1,603 deaths in the state in which the virus was the cause or a contributor, 1,295 have been 65 and older and 243 have been ages 50-64, making up a combined 96% of the total. There have been 49 deaths in the 36-49 age group, 15 in the 18-35 age group and one in the 5-17 age group. More men, 912, than women, 691, have succumbed to the virus, according to OSDH on Friday.

Data shows deaths in 71 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, with 272 in Oklahoma County; 248 in Tulsa County; 118 in Cleveland County; 61 in Rogers County; 44 each in McCurtain and Washington counties; 42 in Creek County; 38 in Delaware County; 35 in Wagoner County; 33 in Garfield County; 29 each in Caddo and Muskogee counties; 28 in Comanche County; 26 in LeFlore County; 25 each in Canadian, Jackson and Lincoln counties; 22 each in Kay, Ottawa and Pottawatomie counties; 21 in Pittsburg County; 19 in Grady County; 18 each in Bryan and Osage counties; 17 each in Beckham, Mayes, Okmulgee and Payne counties; 16 in McClain County; 14 in Sequoyah County; 13 each in Adair, Carter, McIntosh, Okfuskee and Stephens counties; 11 each in Custer, Garvin and Texas counties; 10 each in Cherokee, Pontotoc and Seminole counties; eight in Greer County; seven in Hughes County; six each in Haskell, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Pushmataha and Woodward counties; five each in Pawnee, Roger Mills and Tillman counties; four each in Choctaw, Johnston, Murray, Noble and Nowata counties; three each in Cotton, Grant, Latimer, Logan and Marshall counties; two each in Beaver, Blaine, Craig, Harper, Jefferson, Major and Washita counties; and one each in Atoka, Dewey, Love and Woods counties.

Department of Corrections

There were 621 inmates and 169 Department of Corrections employees testing positive for COVID-19 across the state as of Friday, according to the DOC website.

In Northwest Oklahoma, eight of those were at Charles E “Bill” Johnson Correctional Center, in Alva, and 85 at James Crabtree Correctional Center, in Helena.

There also were eight inmates in isolation and 157 in quarantine at Bill Johnson CC; 84 in isolation and 743 in quarantine at James Crabtree CC; and two in isolation and four in quarantine at Enid CCC, according to the Department of Corrections.

NW Oklahoma

COVID-19 data per county released Friday by OSDH:

• Garfield with 3,224 cases, 2,671 recovered, 520 active and 33 deaths from Enid and one from Lahoma;

• Woodward with 1,644 cases, 1,431 recovered, 207 active and six deaths, three from Woodward, two William S. Key Correctional Center inmates in Fort Supply and one from Mooreland;

• Kingfisher with 773 cases, 645 recovered, 122 active and six deaths, three from Okarche, two from Hennessey and one from Kingfisher;

• Woods with 410 cases, 243 recovered, 166 active and one death from Alva;

• Major with 367 cases, 268 recovered, 97 active and two deaths, towns not listed;

• Noble with 350 cases, 266 recovered, 80 active and three deaths, including a Billings man;

• Blaine with 306 cases, 255 recovered, 49 active and two deaths, both from Canton;

• Alfalfa with 271 cases, 148 recovered and 123 active;

• Grant with 187 cases, 145 recovered, 39 active and three deaths, one each from Deer Creek, Medford and Wakita.

Cumulative COVID-19 cases by city or town in Northwest Oklahoma include 2,940 in Enid (468 active); 902 Fort Supply (eight active); 610 in Woodward (171 active); 368 in Alva (155 active); 320 in Kingfisher (42 active); 250 in Hennessey (35 active); 226 in Fairview (64 active); 157 in Helena (95 active); 127 in Watonga (27 active); 105 in Okarche (25 active); 69 in Mooreland (15 active); 66 in Pond Creek (17 active); 62 in Cashion (21 active); 61 Waukomis (18 active); 56 in Cherokee (13 active); 55 in Garber (five active); 53 in Medford (12 active); 50 each in Lahoma (six active) and Ringwood (13 active); 49 in Canton (seven active); 47 in Billings (19 active); 46 in Seiling (16 active); 44 in Okeene (eight active); 39 in Dover (two active); 28 in Cleo Springs (eight active); 23 in Wakita (one active); 22 in Meno (eight active); 21 each in Covington (two active) and Waynoka (seven active); 19 each in Ames (one active) and Fairmont (two active); 16 each in Burlington (three active), Kremlin (three active) and Longdale (two active); 15 each in Lamont (three active), Mulhall (three active) and Nash (one active); 14 in Sharon (four active); 13 each in Aline (four active) and Orlando (three active); 12 in Drummond (five active); 11 in Carmen (five active); 10 in Jet (one active); nine in Marshall (three active); eight each Deer Creek (four active) and Freedom (two active); seven each in Goltry (three active) and Hunter; and six each in Dacoma (three active), Hillsdale (one active) and Hitchcock, 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 1,455 cases, with 1,229 recovered and 21 deaths from the 73701 ZIP code, primarily the eastern half of the city, and 1,455 cases, with 1,187 recovered and 12 deaths from 73703, or the western half, according to OSDH data on Friday. There were six recovered cases in the 73705 ZIP code, which is listed as Vance Air Force Base at https://www.united stateszipcodes.org/.

OSDH has officially reported 33 deaths both in Enid and Garfield County, but there also was one death reported from Lahoma, which is near the county line for Major, where no deaths have been recently reported by the OSDH. The discrepancy is being investigated by the Health Department, OSDH spokesman Anthony Triana said.This story is developing and will be updated.

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Hassler is the digital content coordinator for the Enid News & Eagle.

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