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As Daily COVID Case Counts Drop In Oklahoma, Daily Death Rates Are Rising

Mairead Todd / KOSU
A sign at OSU-OKC reminds students, staff and visitors to take COVID-19 precautions.

Oklahoma’s coronavirus case counts and hospitalizations are trending down for the first time in months. Unfortunately, deaths are not.

Oklahoma’s coronavirus cases and hospitalizations spiked after Thanksgiving, and that surge lasted through the holiday season. Thankfully, that appears to be ending. The case count 7-day average has decreased about 40 percent over the past two weeks. But deaths are still elevated, with dozens being reported daily.

State Epidemiologist Jared Taylor said deaths are a lagging indicator. So death trends mirror case trends — just with a delay.

"It's going to be two to three weeks before the cases that were transmitted last week produce a death, and certainly at least two to three weeks before those deaths get reported into our system," said Taylor.

That means that it will be about a month before the recent drop in cases translates to a decrease in deaths.


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Catherine Sweeney reports for StateImpact Oklahoma, focusing on health.
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