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The latest news on COVID in Oklahoma

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Editor's Note: March 10, 2022 at 2:22 p.m.

On March 10, 2020, the cancellation of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz basketball game signaled the start of the coronavirus pandemic for many folks. Now, two years to the day, KOSU has decided to sunset this COVID updates liveblog.

Our decision involved two main factors:

Recent guidance from the CDC
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new COVID metrics.The agency's guidance focuses on COVID-19 community levels, which are determined by the number of the new admissions and inpatient beds occupied metrics, based on the current level of new cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days. The goal here is to more accurately track the amount of severe COVID-19 disease within the community and strain on the healthcare system.

A change in reporting from the Oklahoma State Department of Health
Earlier this week, OSDH pointed to the CDC guidance in announcing it would discontinue its daily situation updates that monitor the COVID daily case counts. Instead, the agency will release data on Thursdays. This new weekly report also shows a change in how OSDH reports case counts, opting to only include spicements collected and reported in the week's time period in calculating the seven-day average. Previously, the seven-day average included delayed case counts. The new weekly report is also not representative of the past seven days, rather the previous Sunday-Saturday week.

For the past two years, KOSU has been covering daily case and death counts and a non-stop barrage of COVID-related news.

KOSU will continue to monitor case counts, hospital reports, death counts and immunization reports and report on them when necessary. We will also continue to report on the pandemic beyond just the numbers.

Official state data on COVID-19 can be found here and the latest KOSU and NPR reporting on the pandemic can be found here.

Thank you for your continued support.

Coronavirus updates: last report March 7, 2022:

OSDH makes changes to COVID data reporting

Updated March 7 at 3:40 p.m.

On Monday, March 7, 2022 the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced it would discontinue its daily situation updates that monitor the COVID daily case counts. Instead, OSDH will release data on Thursdays. The weekly epidemiology report will also continue and will be released on Thursdays as well.

49 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated March 3 at 12:14 p.m.

49 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Friday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,835.

1,113 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,024,471 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped to about 710 per day.

Just 56.1 percent of Oklahoma's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, placing Oklahoma in the bottom 14 states for vaccine rollout.

56 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated March 2 at 11:21 a.m.

56 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Thursday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,786.

589 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,023,358 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped to about 720 per day.

56 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated March 2 at 12:13 p.m.

56 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Wednesday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,730.

920 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,022,769 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped to about 830 per day.

Just 56 percent of Oklahoma's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, placing Oklahoma in the bottom 14 states for vaccine rollout.

62 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated March 1 at 12:05 p.m.

62 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Tuesday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,674.

254 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,021,849 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped to about 845 per day.

Oklahoma City Public Schools drops mask mandate

Updated February 28 at 3:46 p.m.

For the first time since the beginning of the academic year, Oklahoma City Public Schools announced it would lift its masking requirement beginning Tuesday, March 1.

OKCPS had instituted a mask requirement that allowed students to opt out, but fewer than one percent had done so as of last fall.

At the time, the district said it found a loophole in Senate Bill 658, which says school boards can’t require masks. Instead, superintendent Sean McDaniel took it upon himself to implement one. The move was endorsed by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Since then, SB 658's ban on mask mandates was paused after a judge’s injunction and remains paused today.

But, in an announcement to students, parents and staff, McDaniel wrote that only two staffers and four students currently have the coronavirus and the Oklahoma City-County Health Department supported the decision.

The move comes after the CDC changed its in-school guidance, saying mask mandates were no longer necessary if case counts weren’t high in an area. In the announcement of the policy, Superintendent Shawn McDaniel says only two staffers and four students had active cases of the coronavirus as of February 28.

The district said that plans could change, and masking rules could go back in place if cases rose. In the meantime, the district said it would keep the following mitigation measures in place:

  • OKCPS will continue monitoring data, tracking and collecting self-reported positive COVID-19 cases for students and staff. This includes our weekly report of positive cases on the district’s website.
  • OKCPS will continue to require anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to isolate for 5 days, regardless of vaccination status. 
  • OKCPS will continue with our enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols. 
  • OKCPS will continue practicing social distancing to the greatest extent possible. Staff are encouraged to conduct business by phone, email or virtual meeting if possible. 
  • OKCPS will continue to make masks available to students, staff and visitors at all district sites. 
  • OKCPS will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing for students and staff. To schedule an appointment, please contact your child’s school or visit our website. 
  • OKCPS will continue working with our partners to schedule additional COVID-19 vaccine clinics. We’ll share that information with you as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, those who are interested can locate a vaccine site by visiting www.vaxokc.com
  • OKCPS will continue to expect families to keep children home from school if they are sick and, likewise, will continue to expect employees to not report to work if they are ill.

71 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 28 at 11:33 a.m.

71 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Monday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,612.

224 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,021,595 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped to about 870 per day.

Four new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 25 at 11:18 a.m.

Four additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Friday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,541.

1,161 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,019,489 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases remained at about 880 per day.

49 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 24 at 11:30 a.m.

49 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Thursday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,537.

1,383 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,018,328 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 880 per day.

Just 55.9 percent of Oklahoma's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, placing Oklahoma in the bottom 14 states for vaccine rollout.

63 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 23 at 12:24 p.m.

63 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Wednesday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,488.

1,010 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,016,945 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 913 per day.

202 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 22 at 11:32 a.m.

202 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Tuesday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,425.

This is the first day Oklahoma State Department of Health has provided updated COVID data since Friday.

409 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,015,935 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 918 per day.

No COVID update since Friday

Updated February 21 at 2:32 p.m.

In observance of Presidents' Day, the Oklahoma State Department of Health did not provide updated COVID data on Monday. It also did not report any data this weekend.

55.8 percent of Oklahoma's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, placing Oklahoma in the bottom 14 states for vaccine rollout.

22 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 18 at 11:36 a.m.

22 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Friday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,223.

1,119 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,013,287 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 1,128 per day.

49 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 17 at 11:49 a.m.

49 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Thursday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,201.

1,614 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,012,168 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 1,287 per day.

Just 55.7 percent of Oklahoma's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, placing Oklahoma in the bottom 14 states for vaccine rollout.

'There's going to be a real blip:' Medical professionals are concerned about delayed routine screenings and their long-term effects

Updated February 17 at 4:00 a.m.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic and its surges, Oklahomans have struggled to find open hospital beds, to schedule urgent care appointments and have seen their surgeries moved back. Those access issues trickle down to even the most routine appointments.

73 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 16 at 2:32 p.m.

73 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Wednesday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,152.

1,047 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,010,554 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 1,439 per day.

23 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 15 at 1:29 p.m.

23 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Tuesday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 14,079.

378 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,009,507 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 1,534 per day.

Just 55.6 percent of Oklahoma's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, placing Oklahoma in the bottom 14 states for vaccine rollout.

209 new deaths were reported in Oklahoma on Monday

Updated February 14 at 8:48 p.m.

209 new deaths were reported in Oklahoma Monday, as the state's provisional death count now stands at 14,056.

The health department also reported 760 new cases of the coronavirus Monday. The agency also reports there have been 1,009,129 COVID-19 cases since March 2020.

The state's 7-day average in new coronavirus cases is now 1,621 new cases per day.

17 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma on Saturday

Updated February 14 at 8:23 a.m.

17 new deaths were reported in Oklahoma Saturday, as the state's provisional death count now stands at 13,847.

The health department also reported 1,458 new cases of the coronavirus, for a total of 1,006,846 since March 2020.

The state's 7-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped to 1,614 per day.

No new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 11 at 11:20 a.m.

No new deaths were reported in Oklahoma on Friday - as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, remains at 13,830.

The state health department reported 2,230 new cases of the coronavirus, for a total of 1,005,388 since March 2020.

The state's 7-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 1,779 per day.

72 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 10 at 11:16 a.m.

72 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Thursday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 13,830.

2,678 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,003,158 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 2,138 per day.

Just 55.4 percent of Oklahoma's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, placing Oklahoma in the bottom 13 states for vaccine rollout.

Audit finds Oklahoma State Department of Health misspent millions, potentially violated state laws

Updated February 9 at 7:33 p.m.

Oklahoma’s state auditor independently released her office’s investigation into the state department of health, which found it might have broken the law in its race to secure PPE at the beginning of the pandemic.

State Auditor Cindy Byrd published the audit Wednesday, after a records request from news nonprofit The Frontier. Her office completed and delivered the audit to the attorney general’s office in May 2021. It is typical protocol for the auditor to submit findings to the attorney general, who then decides whether those findings will be made public. Attorney General John O’Connor’s office has to date declined to release those findings.

Byrd said in a release on Wednesday that, after reviewing state law with outside counsel, she felt confident her office does have the legal authority to release the nine-month-old audit on its own — without approval from O’Connor’s office.

86 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 9 at 11:19 a.m.

86 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Wednesday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 13,758.

1,711 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 1,000,480 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 2,465 per day.

78 new COVID deaths reported in Oklahoma

Updated February 8 at 11:29 a.m.

78 additional deaths were confirmed in Oklahoma on Tuesday, as the state's Provisional Death Count, which reflects COVID-19 deaths based on death certificates, stands at 13,672.

986 new coronavirus infections were also reported, for a total of 998,769 since March 2020.

The state's seven-day average in new coronavirus cases dropped again to 2,876 per day.

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