No new deaths reported as state sees 1,400 new cases in 24-hour period

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Monday, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state has had 32,686 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March.

That’s an increase of 1,401 cases in the past 24 hours, or a 4.5% increase.

Image via Pexels

On July 20, health officials announced that numbers had been lower in Oklahoma due to a “technical data entry issue.”

“Due to technical difficulties related to data automation, case counts for Sunday, July 19 and Monday, July 20 are low and do not reflect real-time data. The same technical glitch occurred on June 5 and June 18 and the issue was resolved on both occasions within 24 hours.

When the technical issue is resolved, people can expect to see a significant bulk increase in the number of new cases reported that does not reflect an increase in the rate of infection.

OSDH and other public health officials throughout the nation are dealing with outdated data systems and are often dependent on fax machines and manual data entry. OSDH is in the midst of an upgrade to the Public Health Investigation and Disease Detection of Oklahoma (PHIDDO) disease reporting system that will make the date entry process more efficient.

STATEMENT FROM OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

“OSDH is highly focused on COVID-19 testing, effectively tracing cases and ensuring those individuals who test positive are quarantined as quickly as possible before they spread the virus to others,” said interim Commissioner Lance Frye. “We recognize the significant issues we’ve experienced in the past and are working to eliminate them by incorporating new technology to enhance the current system as we work towards a long-term solution.”

During a news conference the next day, officials said they were still experiencing some technical difficulties, and announced that they discovered 820 positive cases that had not been previously reported.

However, by Friday, July 24, the health department said the issue had been resolved.

Photo goes with story
A nurse at a drive up COVID-19 coronavirus testing station, set up by the University of Washington Medical Center, holds a swab used to take a sample from the nose of a person in their car, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Officials say there are no new additional deaths, leaving the death toll at 496.

There are 625 people who are hospitalized with confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 as of July 24.

According to health department data on Monday, officials believe 25,252 Oklahomans have recovered from the virus.

Although the CDC recommends patients be tested twice to determine if they have recovered, health department officials say they are preserving tests for patients who are sick.

Instead, the Oklahoma State Department of Health identifies a person as recovered if they are currently not hospitalized or deceased and it has been 14 days since the onset of their symptoms or since they were diagnosed.

Photo goes with story
In this photo taken Tuesday, June 16, 2020, a Washington National Guard medic wears full protective equipment while explaining to a driver how to insert a swab into their nasal passage at a coronavirus test site in Yakima, Wash. The coronavirus pandemic is hitting Yakima County hard, with cases surging far faster in than in the rest of the state. The virus has caused turmoil in the farm and food processing industries, where some fearful workers staged wildcat strikes recently to demand that employers provide safer working conditions. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

State officials urge Oklahomans to stay away from ill patients and to frequently wash their hands. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

At this point, Americans are urged to practice ‘social distancing’ by staying in their homes as much as possible and not going out into a crowd.

The virus is mainly spread from person-to-person, and symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure. Officials stress that the most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

If you do become sick, you are asked to stay away from others. If you have been in an area where the coronavirus is known to be spreading or been around a COVID-19 patient and develop symptoms, you are asked to call your doctor ahead of time and warn them that you might have been exposed to the virus. That way, experts say, they have the ability to take extra precautions to protect staff and other patients.

Face masks
Via Unsplash

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