OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State health officials held a press conference discussing COVID-19, variants and vaccinations.
They stress the best way to protect yourself from the virus and variants is to get vaccinated.
“We want people to get out and enjoy their lives, enjoy their freedom. Vaccination is your ticket,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said.
They say there’s been a uptick in cases, and while it’s small compared to last year, it’s still an increase, and more cases are expected to come because of the past holiday weekend.
While the State Health Department is in regular communication with the governor, there hasn’t been any discussion about another emergency declaration.
Frye says it’s understandable that people are tired of the pandemic, but people still have to do their part.
“I think that we’re not alone in the fact that everyone has COVID fatigue. It’s going to be really difficult to get people to want to do any sort of mitigation in the future, but we all just have to do what we can do to try to do the right thing and keep everyone safe and other people around us safe,” he said.
The Health Department also says there’s been discussion about possible vaccine incentives. A lottery didn’t get approved, but they’re looking into other areas.
The CDC came out with a report on a COVID outbreak at an unidentified gym in Oklahoma back in April and May. There were 47 cases and most of them were in unvaccinated people.
State Epidemiologist Jolianne Stone says they work with facilities that might have outbreaks by helping with testing or vaccinations.
“All those clusters and outbreaks are being tracked through the Health Department. We’re keeping a very close eye on them. We do report those clusters up every week to leadership and to the governor’s office, so we keep a pulse on what we might be seeing in certain areas,” she said.
With Pfizer and Moderna applying for full FDA approval, not just emergency use, health leaders hope more people will be motivated to get vaccinated.