Sixty-three virus-related deaths and 1,501 new coronavirus cases were reported in the state since Wednesday, according to daily numbers released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
A total of 622,335 COVID-19 cases have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic and the provisional death count went up to 10,596, the state health department said on Thursday.
The seven-day rolling average for new cases reported was 1,224 cases, the state health department said.
Currently, 10,357 Oklahomans are considered active cases in the state, OSDH said.
As of Wednesday, 4,211,321 total vaccine doses have been administered and 2,255,807 prime doses have been given by the state. More than 1,901,700 Oklahomans have completed both inoculations.
About 805 Oklahomans are currently in acute care OSDH-licensed facilities with 251 in the ICU and 60 are currently in other types of facilities due to COVID-19. Out of the 805 hospitalizations, 30 are pediatric hospitalizations, OSDH said.
The state health department said they added approximately 1,300 previously unreported cases which happened in the last four months, resulting in the “artificially high” new case number for April 7.
On March 23, the state health department announced opening up COVID vaccinations to all Oklahomans ages 16 and older. Phase 4 opens up on Monday, March 29.
On March 11, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced rolling back COVID-19 restrictions and plans for the state to return to normalcy before the summer season.
On March 3, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced it is changing the way it reports COVID-19 deaths.
The department said this change will align more closely with the death total the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention releases.
The provisional death count is based on death certificates. As cases increased at the end of 2020, OSDH’s epidemiologists began encountering larger numbers of incomplete records require in-depth investigation leading to a large difference between OSDH’s death count and the CDC’s, the health department said.
The discrepancy between the OSDH’s total number of virus-related deaths and the CDC’s was about 2,500 deaths.
The state launched its vaccination appointment website on Jan. 7. After Oklahomans fill out a questionnaire, they will be told which phase they are in and will be allowed to schedule appointments when their phase is being vaccinated.
Click here to view the appointment scheduler and questionnaire.
On Jan. 13, Gov. Kevin Stitt amended his executive order to remove the 11 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants to stop in-person service. This happened after a judge ruled a temporary restraining order be in place until July to allow the lawsuit proceed.
On Jan. 12, Stitt and state officials announced new quarantine policies for in-person learning.
The governor announced teachers or students who are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not have to quarantine as long as that exposure happened in a classroom setting and all protocols were being followed. Those protocols include wearing masks, social distancing, and maintaining recommended cleaning measures.
The first COVID-19 vaccines arrived on Dec. 14 in Oklahoma and were administered to frontline workers.
Ahead of the first round of vaccine distributions in December, Gov. Stitt issued new restrictions.
On Dec. 10, Stitt said he planned to issue an executive order to implement more state restrictions including limiting attendance of public gatherings, excluding churches, and limiting attendance of indoor youth sporting events to 50% capacity.
As cases and hospitalizations continued to spike upward in November, Stitt issued new actions to help combat the spread.
On Nov. 19, bars and restaurants will close at 11 p.m. for in-person service and tables will have to be spaced six feet apart or dividers will have to be used.
A mask mandate was issued for state employees and for people wishing to have access to state buildings.
The state health department corrected Nov. 7’s daily total on Nov. 8, and opted to not release a new daily COVID-19 totals from Saturday to Sunday.
Health officials said it removed the duplicate cases from the total but it only dropped the total cases down from 4,741 to 4,507, a 234 drop.
Stitt released a statement on Nov. 7 and asked Oklahomans “to do the right thing” and to follow CDC guidelines — practice social distancing, wear a face mask and wash your hands regularly — to help slow the spread.
On Sept. 8, the state health department said it has begun the transition to include antigen test results to the state’s data collection and reporting system. A positive antigen test result is considered a “probable” case, while a positive molecular test result is considered a “confirmed” case.
Antigen testing is a rapid test that can be completed in less than an hour. Molecular tests usually take days before results are made available.
On July 15, Stitt said he had tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first governor in the country to test positive for the virus. He has since posted video updates of concerning his health and quarantine.
Oklahoma reported its first child death related to the virus on July 12. The child was a 13-year-old daughter of a soldier stationed at Fort Sill.
Shortly after the report of the girl’s death, state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister recommended for all Oklahomans to wear face masks to allow the safely reopening of schools in the fall.
On June 30, Stitt wore a face mask and “strongly encouraged” Oklahomans to follow CDC guidelines pertaining to face masks.
Stitt said last April 28 that anyone who wished to take a COVID-19 test could do so even if they are not presenting symptoms.
The state health department advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever or coughing to stay home and limit person-to-person engagement.
The state coronavirus hotline is 877-215-8336 or 211. For a list of coronavirus (COVID-19) links and resources, click here.