NORMAN — The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 427 new COVID-19 cases in the state Thursday as Norman's case total rose by 12.
Oklahoma's cumulative COVID-19 case total stands at 14,539. The state has reported 11,048 recoveries.
The Health Department reported six additional COVID-19-related deaths Thursday, one of which occurred in the last 24 hours. The six latest deaths — reported in Tulsa, Comanche and McCurtain counties — bring the state's COVID-related death toll to 395.
The state has reported more than 5,000 new cases in the last two weeks alone. Health officials say Oklahoma's recent COVID-19 spike is due to an increase in positive test rates and more community spread, not an increase in testing.
State experts have recommended that Oklahomans continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and practice caution in situations where COVID spread is possible. The Cleveland County Health Department has designated bars, pool parties, house gatherings, weddings, funerals and faith-based activities as the events most likely to contribute to COVID-19 spread locally.
Along with the spike in cases, the state has also seen a general increase in COVID-related hospitalizations.
The latest executive order report from Wednesday shows 364 current confirmed and suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations in Oklahoma. The number is down from Tuesday's 374 hospitalizations, but up from 277 hospitalizations last Wednesday.
Brittni McGill, Norman Regional Health System's chief nursing officer, told The Transcript that despite the recent local spike in cases, the hospital system is not being overwhelmed by COVID cases. McGill said that while the new spike in cases has been heavily impacting younger Oklahomans, the latest hospitalizations in Norman have not followed the same trend.
"We know about the positive rates that have been increasing — we do have positive hospitalized cases, but we actually have not had an overabundance of them," said McGill, who said that NRHS has sufficient bed, testing, ICU and personal protective equipment capacity right now. "It’s been very manageable."
The Health Department's Thursday update shows that 12 of the newest cases are in Norman, where the city case total is now at 457. The department has reported 339 recoveries and 23 deaths in Norman.
Thursday's update shows that 24 of the newest cases are in Cleveland County.
The county has now reported 935 total COVID-19 cases, 710 of them recovered. The county's COVID-19-related death toll stands at 40.
Wednesday evening's executive order report showed no shift in local nursing home numbers since Monday. Norman nursing homes have reported 128 total COVID-19 cases, 109 recoveries and 19 total deaths across six local facilities.
Wednesday's report shows that 203 of the state's then-389 COVID-related deaths occurred in nursing homes or longterm care facilities.
The Health Department is operating testing locations throughout the state at places and times listed on the OSDH’s website.
The county health department is also 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.
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