CLEVELAND COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported a confirmed COVID-19 Delta variant outbreak tore through a Cleveland County gymnastics facility. The department said out of the 47 confirmed cases, 21 of them were of the Delta variant.
“Given what we know now about the Delta variant, we were actually very fortunate that more people were not infected,” said State Epidemiologist Jolianne Stone.
OSDH officials said the first cases of the outbreak started popping up around April 15-May 3, 2021.
“We know that this particular virus, especially when you exhale or when you have heavy labored breathing, those types of things, it expels more virus,” said Stone.
The health department said in all, 47 cases were linked to the outbreak, hitting people from 5 to 58-years-old.
Eighty-five percent of them were too young to get the vaccine at the time.
“Remember, this was at the time that the FDA expanded the use for Pfizer vaccines to allow children 12 and up to be vaccinated,” said the epidemiologist.
Three of those cases had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Another four were fully vaccinated.
“Likely, this could happen again, especially with what we know about the variant,” Stone said.
Of all the 47 cases, two ended up in the hospital and one was in the ICU.
“The biggest thing we can do to encourage this not happening again is to get vaccinated,” she said.
OSDH said this shows how fast the virus can spread at indoor facilities. The department is urging parents to get their young athletes the shots before sending them off to summer sport camps.
“If everybody on your sports team is vaccinated, it’s likely not going to spread,” said Stone.
The CDC is still recommending everyone over the age of 12 to get vaccinated.
So far in Oklahoma, more than 37,000 kids between 12 to 17 years old are fully vaccinated. That’s up nearly 3,000 from a week ago.
The name of the gymnastics facility was not listed in the report on the outbreak.