Oklahoma reports record-high 54 deaths as virus surges
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma health officials reported a record-high 54 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, more than double the previous one-day record, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state surged past 200,000.
The latest deaths were reported in 23 counties across the state between Oct. 24 and Nov. 30, including 37 deaths since Nov. 26, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. There is often a delay in reporting deaths because of the time it takes to confirm the death is COVID-related, said department spokesman Anthony Triana.
The previous one-day record number of reported deaths was 26 on Nov. 18.
“We must remember that each count, each case and each infection is a life,” Oklahoma Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said in a statement. “These Oklahomans, and the others who passed before them, were our neighbors and loved ones.”
The latest figures bring the total number of COVID-related deaths in Oklahoma to 1,812.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Oklahoma has risen over the past two weeks from 13.29 deaths per day on Nov. 17 to 13.43 deaths per day on Dec. 1, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The state also reported 2,859 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to more than 202,000 since the pandemic began. The true number of infections in Oklahoma is likely higher because many haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Oklahoma has risen over the past two weeks from 2,607.29 new cases per day on Nov. 17 to 2,696 new cases per day on Dec. 1, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Frye again urged residents to wear masks, frequently wash their hands and stay away from others.
Health officials on Wednesday also released the state’s weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force Report, which underscores the seriousness of the coronavirus surge in Oklahoma.
“We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity,” the report warns. “A further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall.”