COVID-19

COVID-19 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

NORMAN — The Oklahoma State Department of Health's Friday update showed 352 new COVID-19 cases, eight of them in Norman.

The state's COVID-19 case total grew to 9,706 cases Friday. Friday's new case total is the state's second-highest single-day jump in cases to date.

The state's seven-day case average, which shows trends in COVID-19 cases by averaging new cases reported across seven days, reached yet another record high Friday. 

While case totals are not as significant a data point as hospitalizations, Oklahoma's daily hospitalization number has also risen in the last week. Thursday's executive order report showed 211 confirmed or suspected COVID-related hospitalizations (up from 154 at the same time last week).

The Health Department reported 7,212 total recoveries Friday. In the last three days alone, Oklahoma has reported more than 1,000 new COVID cases. 

The week's record case totals come as President Donald Trump plans to visit the state for a Saturday rally in Tulsa. State officials have cautioned rally participants to take precautions and get tested, but have not otherwise moved to restrict the large indoor gathering. 

Health officials said this week that the case spike is not due to increased testing, but to greater community spread and a higher percentage of positive test results. Experts caution that Oklahomans should still be wearing masks, practicing social distancing and avoiding risky indoor settings.

The Health Department also reported one additional COVID-19-related death Friday, bringing the state's COVID-related death total to 367.

According to the Health Department, 15 of the newest cases are in Cleveland County. The county now has 620 total COVID-19 cases, 500 of them recovered.

The county reported no new deaths Friday, leaving its COVID-19-related death toll at 40.

The Health Department also reported eight new cases in Norman Friday, bringing the city case total to 297. The department has reported 233 recoveries and 23 deaths in Norman.

After Thursday's record-breaking increase of 19 new cases in Norman, Mayor Breea Clark said in a tweet that the city's emergency management team is talking through Norman's next steps.

According to Clark, Norman is still meeting three of its criteria for reopening, but now no longer meets the requirement that the city show a downward trajectory in its three-day average.

Travis King, Norman's fire chief and emergency manager, told The Transcript Friday that the new cases in Norman appear to be largely due to community spread among young residents.

King said that while city case numbers have spiked recently, Norman's hospital capacity is still strong, and the city is not seeing a strain on the local healthcare system right now. 

The city also has adequate personal protective equipment stocks and contact tracing abilities, said King, who noted that city officials are in consistent communication about Norman data. 

“I think we’ve got a really good team and a good handle on what’s going on right now," the fire chief said.

The state's latest executive order report from Thursday evening showed no new cases in Norman nursing homes. Norman facilities have not reported a new case since early June, meaning almost all of the cases reported in Norman in the last two weeks have been outside of longterm care facilities.

As of Thursday, Norman nursing homes have reported 127 total COVID-19 cases and 19 total deaths across six local facilities.

Thursday report shows that 198 of the state's then-366 deaths were tied to Oklahoma nursing homes.

The Health Department is operating testing locations throughout the state at places and times listed on the OSDH’s website. The Cleveland County Health Department is offering curbside tests by appointment at its Moore and Norman locations. OU Health Services also is offering curbside tests by appointment to OU students, faculty or staff.

Emma Keith

366-3537

Follow me @emma_ckeith

ekeith@normantranscript.com

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