OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As the United States hits a record for new COVID-19 infections, health experts in Oklahoma are warning residents to be cautious about the spreading virus.
In the country, new cases per day have more than doubled over the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University.
On Wednesday, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state has had 700,798 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March of 2020.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma has seen 12,405 deaths as of Wednesday.
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt says that the city is also experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
“It’s a very contagious version of this virus. The good news is if you’re vaccinated, it seems as if you’re generally going to have a mild reaction. So this is kind of a different chapter of the pandemic. Every one has been a little different and in this chapter of Oklahoma City’s pandemic experience, we are more vaccinated than we’ve ever been. We are still above the national average and way above the state average on vaccinations here in the Oklahoma City area. So that means that, you know, it’s kind of hard to follow the case data like we used to because so many people are vaccinated and are having a mild reaction, even though they have a case,” said Holt.
As a result, he says he has been paying close attention to hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in the metro.
“They are creeping up, so that just shows that even with the high level of vaccination, it is so contagious among the unvaccinated that we are seeing hospitalizations increase as before. That’s going to come mostly from the unvaccinated population,” he said.
In Oklahoma City, Holt says there are about 300 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. He says that’s about double the number of hospitalizations that occurred after delta subsided.
Before the delta variant emerged, Oklahoma City had fewer than 100 patients in the hospital with the virus. At the height of the pandemic, OKC recorded 700 hospitalizations related to COVID-19.
“We don’t like the direction we’re going so once again, I would encourage people to get that first shot, to get that second shot. When I look at the vaccination stats, it’s a not insignificant number of people who got the first shot but not the second shot. So get the second shot or get boosted if you’re six months past your second shot,” he said.
If you are not current on your COVID-19 vaccine, you can always schedule an appointment online.
“When you bet on not getting a vaccine, you’re generally gonna lose. So we encourage people who have made that bet to go ahead and go the other direction right now,” Holt added.