OKLAHOMA CITY — The number of Oklahomans who have died after contracting COVID-19 nearly doubled to 15 Saturday with more than 50 new cases of the virus, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Northwest Oklahoma continues to see no confirmed cases, according to information released daily by OSDH, which has the number of positive tests now at 377 in 40 of Oklahoma's 77 counties. There have been 126 hospitalized due to the virus, according to OSDH.
Friday's OSDH report revealed 8 deaths in the state, but on Saturday OSDH reported five women and two men also had died, six of whom were older than 65. New deaths were a man and a woman, both older than 65, in Cleveland County; a man and a woman, both older than 65, in Tulsa County; a female, older than 56, in Oklahoma County; a female, in the 50-64 age group, in Sequoyah County; and a female, older than 65, in Wagoner County.
Ages of patients range from 0 to 95 years old, with a median range of 59. There are 4 in the 0-4 range, 5 in the 5-17 range, 64 in the 18-35 range, 70 in the 36-49 range, 97 in the 50-64 range and 137 in the 65 and older range, according to OSDH. Of those testing positive, 191 are female and 186 are male. OSDH reports the number of those now testing negative will be updated at a later time.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Oklahoma Test Results
|COVID-19 OKLAHOMA TEST RESULTS||NUMBERS|
|Positive (in-state residents)||377|
|Positive (out-of-state residents)||2|
|COVID-19 CASES BY TESTING LABORATORY|
|State Public Health Laboratory||124|
|Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma||62|
|COVID-19 CASES BY OKLAHOMA COUNTIES||NUMBERS|
|COVID-19 OKLAHOMA CASES BY AGE||NUMBERS|
|COVID-19 OKLAHOMA CASES BY GENDER||NUMBERS|
|Information from the Oklahoma Department of Health Website: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov|
|(Enid News & Eagle table updated at noon March 28, 2020)|
Counties reporting first cases of the virus are LeFlore and Nowata.
"These counties will now be required to come into compliance with Governor Kevin Stitt's 'Safer at Home' executive order that calls for non-essential businesses in counties with COVID-19 cases to temporarily suspend services until April 16," according to the OSDH.
Positive tests per county in the state are 107 in Oklahoma County; 57 in Tulsa County; 46 in Cleveland County; 18 in Kay County; 16 in Creek County; 14 each in Pawnee and Washington counties; 12 in Payne County; 11 in Canadian County; 8 in Wagoner County; 7 in Muskogee County; 6 each in Comanche and Osage counties; 4 in Delaware and Ottawa counties; 3 each in Adair, Custer, Lincoln, Logan, Mayes, Noble and Pontotoc counties; 2 each in Garvin, Grady, McClain, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, Pottawatomie, Sequoyah and Stephens counties; and 1 each in Bryan, Caddo, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Craig, Jackson, Latimer, LeFlore and Nowata counties, according to OSDH information released Saturday morning.
Despite the lack of positive findings in Garfield County, testing is available, according to local health professionals.
“Testing kits are available and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center is testing patients who are symptomatic and meet testing guidelines,” said Lori A. Boyd, St. Mary’s director of marketing. “Laboratories are prioritizing results, with hospitalized patients symptomatic with COVID-19 processed first.”
Integris Bass Baptist Health Center has been and is testing patents for coronavirus in accordance with the same testing guidelines, said Tania Warnock, Integris Bass marketing project lead.
Criteria is based on the CDC clinical criteria, she said, which include hospitalized patients and symptomatic health care workings as priority 1; patients with symptoms who are in longterm care facilities, 65 years or older, underlying conditions and first responders as priority 2; and critical infrastructure workers with symptoms, individuals with symptoms, health care workers and first responders and individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing a high number of COVID-19 hospitalizations as priority 3.
Persons without symptoms are considered non-priority based on CDC guidelines.
Those developing symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath or cough should contact their medical professionals or call the COVID-19 Call Center at (877) 215-8336 or 211 for assistance.
"Patients are encouraged to consult their physician or public health professional about their symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. Clinicians may recommend testing for other respiratory illnesses, including flu, before recommending a COVID-19 test," according to the OSDH website. Those who are uninsured an call 211 for community resources.
Earlier this week the state received additional COVID-19 testing supplies that will allow for 10,000 individuals to be tested in the coming weeks, according to OSDH on Saturday. Oklahoma State University is bringing online lab capabilities by early next week that will allow the state to process approximately 2,800 COVID-19 tests a day. The University of Oklahoma is continuing to partner, as well, to expand and bring online capabilities to process a "significant number of COVID-19 tests" in the coming weeks.
Drive-through testing sites have been established in Kay, Oklahoma, Pittsburg and Tulsa counties, as a result of a cross-county, city and state health system partnership, according to OSDH. Two more sites are planning to open next week in Western Oklahoma, OSDH reports.
Screenings in Kay and Pittsburg counties are by appointment only. Supplies are limited, and testing is reserved for those who are considered vulnerable or are showing symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Instructions for drive-up service will be provided when an appointment is made. Testing sites are at 433 Fairview Ave, Ponca City, (580) 762-1651 in Kay County, and 1400 E. College Ave., McAlester, (918) 423-1267 in Pittsburg County.
In Tulsa County, screenings will be by appointment only at the drive-through site. Vulnerable populations who are under- or uninsured should call the Tulsa Health Department for a phone screening. Insured patients need a referral from a health care provided. Instructions will be given at the time appointments are made. Call (918) 582-9355 for information.
In Oklahoma County, residents must be screened for COVID-19 by a medical provider and referred to the mobile testing site.
The testing sites will allow the state's medical professionals to gather public health data, outside of the hospital setting, while determining the projected capacity needed for effective COVID-19 testing throughout Oklahoma, according to an OSDH situation report.
OSDH also launched a website Friday to coordinate corporate donations across the state to get "critical protective equipment to health care professionals who are on the front lines of delivering COVID-19 care," according its situation update email on Saturday. The site is at https://ppedonation.ok.gov/.
“With the number of cases rising each day, the OSDH urges the public to follow the Governor's ‘Safer at Home’ executive order advising vulnerable populations and those over the age of 65 to stay home until April 30 and for non-essential businesses in counties with COVID-19 cases to temporarily suspend services until April 30,” the report states. “The CDC also recommends the public to stay home, practice social distancing, hand washing, and specifically for those who are sick to isolate for up to 14 days.”
Governor Kevin Stitt announced during a press conference Tuesday afternoon that all non-essential businesses in 19 counties must close by the end of Wednesday, March 25.
The closures are part of a series of sweeping actions to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state as the number of cases and deaths continued to tick upward. Stitt also banned all gatherings of 10 or more statewide and ordered all elderly and vulnerable Oklahomans to stay home until April 30. He suspended all elective and non-emergent surgeries.
COVID-19 is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in late-2019. Cases of the virus have since spread globally into a pandemic. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. While roughly 80% of cases report mild symptoms, some progress into severe pneumonia and multi-organ failure that can led to death, according to information on the OSDH website.
"Current data indicates the risk of death for those contracting COVID-19 notably increases for individuals above the age of 60 or for individuals with autoimmune conditions," according to OSDH.
On January 11, 2020, the first set of individuals in the United States tested positive for COVID-19. The virus has since spread across all 50 states, and the number testing positive continues to increase.
On Sunday, March 22, 2020, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the Governor’s Solution Task Force — a multiagency group of experts and support personnel to enhance Oklahoma’s comprehensive response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Stitt said goals include protecting the health and lives of Oklahomans, mitigating economic impact and initiating a full recovery effort.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma National Guard activated the Joint Task Force at the Oklahoma National Guard Regional Training Institute in Oklahoma City.
Comprised of members of both the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard, that task force is laying groundwork for possible support missions, said Brig. Gen. Tommy Mancino, executive director of the Oklahoma Military Department and the Oklahoma National Guard assistant adjutant general.
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