Health department: COVID-19 cases rise but on a downward trend

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Although the number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma continues to climb, health officials say the data is promising that the state is getting a grasp on the virus.

On Friday morning, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state currently has 4,424 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

So far, officials say 266 Oklahoma patients have died and 815 people have been hospitalized. Currently, 228 patients are hospitalized.

Although the number of cases is now more than 4,400, health department epidemiologists say the number of positive cases is on an overall downward trend.

Within the last week, Oklahoma saw 712 new confirmed cases, which was a 43.3% increase from the previous week. Also, there were 46 deaths, which was a 4.5% increase.

Authorities say that although the jump in new cases is alarming, they believe the dramatic increase was due to the department’s ability to increase contact tracing.

So far, officials say they have tested 89,857 specimens, and only 4,779 have been positive. However, experts say that specimen count may not reflect unique individuals, as some patients were tested more than once.

“We are pleased to spotlight the data reflecting Oklahoma’s continued success in flattening the curve,” said Interim State Epidemiologist Aaron Wendelboe. “The more testing we do, the more confidence we have in our data. We are relying on Oklahomans to get tested for COVID-19 now that we have plenty of testing capability.”

According to the data, residents who are over the age of 50-years-old tend to be impacted more by the virus than other age groups.

Officials say 53% of cases were in patients 50-years-old and older. At the same time, 96% of deaths occurred in people who were 50-years-old and older.

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