Record high Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations in Oklahoma
Mike Seals - November 6, 2020 10:59 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The number of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations of people with the illness or under investigation for infection reached record one-day highs Thursday in Oklahoma as the White House Coronavirus Task Force called on the state to test more people who have no symptoms.
The State Department of Health reported 2,101 new cases and 1,055 hospitalizations, nearly 400 more cases than the previous high in July and surpassing the 1,026 hospitalizations reported Wednesday.
The department also reported 21 additional deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows the rolling seven-day average of new Oklahoma cases increased from 1,177 to 1,231 and the number of daily deaths, on average, from 11 to 15.
“I’m very alarmed and very concerned,” said Dr. George Monks, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. “This is the worst hospital crisis we’ve ever had in Oklahoma. We just went to tier 3 status in Oklahoma County with the (hospital) surge plan. We’re in a really bad situation in Oklahoma.”
Several medical groups in Oklahoma, including Monks’ group, have repeatedly urged Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt to impose some kind of mask mandate, but Stitt has continued to resist those recommendations, citing concerns about how such a mandate would be enforced.
The task force report said finding people who have the virus but no symptoms would help stem the spread.
“There is a continued increase in cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities nationally, spreading southward from the coldest climates as the population moves indoors and cases increase,” the task force report said.
The report, released Wednesday by the State Department of Health, continued to call for people to wear masks in public, including K-12 students and teachers, limit social gatherings and limit restaurant capacity to no more than 50%.
The Health Department reported 129,873 total virus cases 1,413 deaths since the pandemic began.
The true number of cases in Oklahoma is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, can suffer severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.