OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health says it will stop providing daily COVID-19 updates and instead release weekly reports on Thursdays.

Starting this week, OSDH will discontinue its daily situation updates that monitor the daily case counts. Instead, the OSDH will release data on Thursdays. The weekly report will provide an average based on weekly accumulations.

The weekly epidemiology report will continue and will also be released on Thursdays.

Officials say the omicron surge delayed daily case count numbers and only represented a portion of true current cases.

They say many things – including lags in laboratory reporting, at-home testing, asymptomatic cases and those who may feel sick and choose not to get tested – contributed to the lag and lack of true representation.

“Adjusting data reporting will be an evolving process that ensures we are monitoring key data in Oklahoma and across the country to best prepare for possible surges,” said Keith Reed, interim commissioner of health. “I want to reassure Oklahomans that we will continue to be vigilant when it comes to COVID-19 and the safety of all the communities we serve.”

Health officials say this change will allow them to focus on key metrics that more accurately represent the impact of disease in the community, like hospitalizations.

“Though the OSDH is changing reporting cadences much of the data that have been at Oklahoman’s disposal during the course of the pandemic will remain, including zip code level data,” said a news release from the department. “As we begin moving toward the endemic phase of the pandemic, the OSDH stands well equipped to battle future possible surges and if seen fit can bring back daily data reports.”