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Oklahoma hits its highest COVID-19 case count, positivity rate of the pandemic

Pete Sutton / CVS Health Newsroom

Oklahoma has entered yet another coronavirus spike. People across the state are testing positive at the highest rate ever.

For the second year, Oklahoma is seeing major COVID-19 transmission after the holidays. So far in 2022, more than 12,000 people have tested positive, with daily case counts rivaling those of pre-vaccine spikes.

Dr. David Kendrick, department chair of Medical Informatics at OU School of Community Medicine, says the percentage of Oklahomans getting tested and getting a positive result matched its all-time record this week. That’s especially true for children and young adults. There's one thing about these figures: they're not complete.

"What makes me most concerned about that is many of the tests — and maybe even most of the tests — are being performed not in a health care delivery system, but at home," said Kendrick.

Oklahoma doesn’t have a way to report at-home tests, so they’re not included in case counts.

With COVID-19 testing in higher demand and increased cases over the last week, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced Tuesday it is extending COVID-19 testing hours at local county health departments, and will offer weekend availability at select locations.

“Like other states, Oklahoma is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, however many other respiratory illnesses are occurring as well,” stated Keith Reed, interim commissioner of health. “We highly encourage anyone who is feeling ill to stay home from work, school and other activities and schedule a COVID-19 test or appointment with their physician. Staying home while awaiting your appointment, results and for your symptoms to clear is important for your health and will help prevent the spread of illness.”

Testing locations and hours can be found by visiting oklahoma.gov/covid19/testing-sites. Oklahomans can also call their local county health department or 2-1-1 for hours and locations.

Catherine Sweeney was StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter from 2020 to 2023.
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