White House report says COVID-19 in Oklahoma is unabated and requires a rapid response

According to the latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report, released Wednesday, November 11, 2020, Oklahoma’s weekly new cases and the percentage of positive test results reached record levels as 83% of Oklahoma counties are in the red zone, which represents a high level of community transmission.

“The unyielding COVID spread across Oklahoma continues with new hospital admissions, inpatients, and patients in the ICU at record levels, indicating deeper spread across the state,” the report stated. “The most recent trends, showing steep inclines across all indicators, need immediate action including mask requirements to decrease severity in morbidity and mortality among Oklahomans.”

Governor Stitt has refused to implement a statewide mask mandate, even though the task force reports have repeatedly called for one. On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, Stitt said wearing a mask is a matter of  “personal responsibility” and “doing the right thing,” and should not be mandated.

The November 6th state epidemiology report shows that cities with mask ordinances only saw a  34% increase in COVID-19 cases from Aug. 1 to Nov. 1, compared to a 109% rise in areas of Oklahoma without mask ordinances.

The latest task force report expressed concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in Oklahoma nursing homes.

According to the report, “Nearly 30% of nursing homes have COVID positive staff, indicating unmitigated community spread. Ensure all nursing homes, assisted living, and elderly care sites have full testing capacity and are isolating positive staff and residents.”

The prior taskforce report showed 53 counties in the red zone and 66 counties with moderate spread. There are currently 64 countries in the red zone and 69 counties with moderate transmission.

Tulsa, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Haskell, Kay, Latimer, LeFlore, Lincoln, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pittsburg, Rogers, Sequoyah, Wagoner, and Washington counties are in the red zone. Adair and Creek County are the only two counties in  Northeastern Oklahoma that are not in the red.

Oklahoma’s weekly case rate stands at 259 cases per 100,000, with the national rate of 209 per 100,000. The state’s weekly positivity rate is 15% compared to 8.9% nationally.                               

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Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler

Long-time Sapulpa resident, Charles Betzler, followed his father, Charlie, into the radio and TV repair business. At age 9, he fixed his first broken radio and his first love is vintage audio equipment. In his 50 + years of technical work, graduation from OSUIT, and years of Continuing Education, Charles, in his capacity as Emergency Management Director of nearby city, designed the Emergency Operations Center, and the radio-activation system for the sirens. In his long career, he has repaired every type of consumer electronics from black-and-white TVs to the latest lap-top.