OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As families start to prepare for a holiday weekend and more businesses reopen to the public, health care officials say they believe another wave of COVID-19 cases is on the horizon.
On Friday morning, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state currently has 5,849 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
According to the data, officials say the number of cases increased by 169 from Thursday’s numbers, or 3%.
The data suggests that is the largest daily increase in positive cases since April 4.
Although the number of cases has only grown slightly since Oklahoma started its reopening plan, state leaders say the state is well prepared to deal with the virus.
“You might still have small little ups or downs, but the data still looks really good to continue through Phase Two,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt.
Dr. Dale Bratzler, a physician with the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, says he’s concerned the increase in patients could continue.
Dr. Bratzler says his data shows overall new COVID-19 cases trending slightly upwards. He says his team is now asking questions about whether or not this could lead to more hospitalizations.
“All of us in public health are concerned about the pace of reopening and making sure people realize that as we start reopening, that doesn’t mean we can stop physical distancing or social distancing,” said Dr. Bratzler.
At the same time, Dr. David Chansolme, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at INTEGRIS Health, says he believes other waves of COVID-19 cases are on the horizon.
“I believe we will see more spikes of COVID-19. Hopefully, they’re smooth waves that we can manage, rough seas. What we’re trying to avoid is a big tsunami. We don’t want a tidal wave that overtakes the system. I think we did a pretty good job of avoiding that on the first go-round, at least from a hospital standpoint. We were able to manage the caseload that came to us and not experience some of the things that they experienced in northern Italy or in the Bronx in New York City,” Dr. Chansolme said. “I assume there will be many waves as this disease continues to fight through society. So we’re still preparing from a healthcare standpoint of accepting new cases of COVID-19 and taking care of them the best that we can. I think that we’ve gained a lot in the last two months in terms of our knowledge base, how we treat these patients, we’ve got a few treatments out there now. So it’s a really exciting time. It’s not the same disease it was two months ago and it probably will not be the same disease a year from now that it is today.”