Oklahoma virus deaths increased to conform with CDC count
Mike Seals - March 3, 2021 11:51 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The number of Oklahoma deaths due to the illness caused by the coronavirus jumped by about 2,500 Wednesday as the state health department began using the count reported by the federal Centers for Disease Control.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 7,035 deaths using the CDC’s number that is based on death certificates. The health department on Tuesday had reported 4,534 COVID deaths.
The pending change was announced Monday by state epidemiologist Dr. Jared Taylor, who said the state’s lower total was due to the state more fully investigating deaths of people diagnosed with COVID, rather than relying only on death certificates.
There were 747 new virus cases for a total of 425,746 since the pandemic began, the department reported.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council extended the city’s mask ordinance until April 30, after hearing that the city could achieve herd immunity by June, an estimated 80% rate of vaccination in the population.
The mask mandate does not extend until June, but council member David Greenwell said it could be extended.
“We’ve been very flexible to have these extensions occur roughly every six weeks, just to take into account developments in terms of new information” about the virus, Greenwell said.