State officials, health experts warn against COVID-19 Delta variant, case uptick in Oklahoma

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A typo in the original story has been corrected.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State health officials confirming overall infections are on the rise in Oklahoma.  They also have confirmed cases of the Delta variant in our state as vaccination rates level off. 

“We’ve definitely seen a steady increase in new COVID cases in Oklahoma,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler of OU Health. 

And new case numbers don’t lie, although well below levels last winter, our state’s new case counts up 53% over the last two weeks, putting Oklahoma and Missouri on the national high risk map.  

“COVID is still here in the United States, it is still here in Oklahoma,” said State Epidemiologist, Jolianne Stone.

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COVID-19 Delta variant

Some health experts say the COVID Delta variant is driving the uptick. The strand that originated in India is reportedly 50% more contagious than earlier strands. Health officials confirming 41 cases in Oklahoma so far. 

Southwest Missouri is a documented hot spot for the Delta variant. Bratzler says it was inevitable it would make its way to Oklahoma 

“Just think about if somebody driving down I-44 stops in Joplin eats at a restaurant, and then comes on in to Oklahoma. It’s going to get here,” said Bratzler.  

“We still don’t have the herd immunity and the vaccine uptake that we would like to see in Oklahoma,” said Stone. 

State officials and health experts both confirm that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are close to 90% against the Delta variant.

“Vaccination is really going to be our biggest advocate in order to keep this from spreading,” said Stone. 

Doctors say hospitalization ages are trending younger as the Delta variant continues to spread.

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