New changes to reporting COVID-19 data announced as Gov. Stitt’s State of Emergency ends

Coronavirus
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Oklahoma State Department of Health

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Gov. Kevin Stitt’s COVID-19 executive order expired today, Tuesday, May 4, lifting all state level coronavirus-related restrictions and requirements, and therefore changing how the state will report COVID-19 data.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health issued a news release Tuesday, describing changes to how COVID-19 data will be reported from here on, in light of Stitt’s State of Emergency ending.

“Through vaccine distribution and the hard work of Oklahomans across the state, we’ve reached a place where cases are continuing to decline and the spread of COVID-19 is beginning to slow. With case numbers and hospitalizations at a sustained and consistently manageable level, we’re approaching the ‘new normal’ that we’ve been working toward for so long,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye. “However, we’re not ready to take a victory lap just yet. While we are coming out of the state of emergency, there’s still work to be done to protect ourselves and others from spreading COVID-19, including new variants. I urge all Oklahomans to keep following the three W’s (wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance) in public spaces and exercising caution as we work to vaccinate more people.”

OSDH will make changes to how some COVID-19 data is reported and tracked, “as the agency’s authority to require providers to report certain data expires along with the Executive Order,” the news release states.

The following summary of changes was included in the news release:

• The agency will stop releasing the regular Executive Order Report
– Data contained in the Executive Order report that is still being collected will be released in the daily Situation Update instead
– The Bed & PPE dashboard on the Executive Order Report webpage will no longer be updated and eventually be pulled down
• The Situation Update will continue to report:
– New cases and seven-day case average
– Currently hospitalized and ICU numbers from HHS
– If needed, OSDH will report positivity with positive and negative test results
• The Weekly Epidemiology Report will continue and will contain:
– OSDH case investigation deaths, updated weekly
– Percent positivity from OSDH electronic lab reported data (note that positivity may increase due to the use of a new data source)
– Current hospitalization data from HHS reporting
– Additional topics/data will be added as appropriate; for example, variant surveillance
– Cumulative Antibody Test Positivity will be removed
– All other existing content in the report will remain the same
• OSDH will likely stop publishing the Hospital Surge Tier Report
• The Alert Map, which includes the County Risk Level Trends, will change
– Level 4 is based on staffed bed availability options, which will no longer be tracked on the dashboard as of the expiration of the EO
– OSDH will provide more detailed updates on this as it is finalized
• Active case calculation will be updated to 14 days post specimen collection or symptom onset
– OSDH is removing the currently hospitalized criteria that was part of the original calculation
• Recovered cases will be removed from the data dashboard

“We remain committed to providing accurate, accessible COVID-19 data and keeping the Oklahoma public informed,” said State Epidemiologist Jolianne Stone. “Data will continue to be accessible on our dashboard at oklahoma.gov/19, and we are closely tracking the information that is crucial to help us mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team will continue to monitor trends and alert Oklahomans if areas of concern begin to arise again.”

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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