Editor’s note: this story originally published on Saturday, November 28th
The pandemic is spiraling out of control in Oklahoma as the number of new cases rises exponentially. The seven-day average for the past week was well over 3,000. OSDH announced today, Saturday, November 28, that there have been 6,257 reported new cases since Friday. There have been 13 virus-related deaths in that period, bringing the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 to 1,717.
A total of 193,824 Oklahomans have tested positive for COVID-19, and 159,894 Oklahomans have recovered from the novel virus. The state health department says that 6,925 additional cases are considered recovered since Friday. Per OSDH guidelines, recovered merely means the patient is not hospitalized or deceased and it has been 14 days since the onset of symptoms or report.
These numbers are alarming because hospitals across the state, including Tulsa area hospitals, are in Tier 3 of the hospital surge plan. This means they can transfer patients or cancel elective surgeries in an attempt to increase capacity. There are 1,542 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases, as of Friday. The most recent hospital survey shows 432 patients are in ICU being treated for Covid-19.
According to guidelines set by the Whitehouse Coronavirus Task Force, and Harvard Global Health Institute, people in Oklahoma are advised to take the following steps:
Bars should close,
Gyms should close,
Masks should be mandated and worn by everybody outside their home,
Gatherings should be avoided with people outside the immediate household,
Remorse learning should be enabled for all students,
Restaurants should limit capacity to 25 percent, and customers should use take-out or eat outdoors while socially distancing.