Oklahoma Sees Jump In Positive COVID-19 Cases

Monday, June 15th 2020, 9:48 pm
By: Erick Payne

Health leaders in Oklahoma say they're concerned about the recent jump in positive cases of COVID-19.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health said there were 186 new positive cases reported Monday.

That brings the state's total number of cases to more than 8,400.

Public health experts say they were expecting an increase, but what they're seeing now is worrisome.

The Tulsa Health Department said 89 more people tested positive in Tulsa County for COVID-19 since yesterday.

It brings the total number of cases in the county to 1,653.

532 of those are active cases.

"What we're starting to see is much broader community spread. We do this so we can detect patterns, and the pattern is that the virus is transmitting efficiently through Tulsa County right now," Tulsa Health Dept. Director Bruce Dart said.

Director Dart with THD said they expanded testing a few weeks ago, but this increase in positive cases isn't because of that.

"As people resume their lives, and communities opened up, we expected to see a surge, and that's what we're seeing now. But frankly we're seeing a larger surge than we would like at this junction," Dart said.

OU Medicine's Doctor Dale Bratzler said that's because people aren't taking the pandemic as seriously. He said there's been a shift in the age of those who are getting sick.

“The people who are testing positive tend to be younger, which concerns me because they're very social, very mobile," Bratzler said.

They both say people can resume their lives if they social distance, wear masks and use good hygiene.

"If we do these things, and stay vigilant, then we can stand up to this virus and knock it down," Dart said.

Governor Stitt's office said as we are 14 days into the final phase of the plan, it is understandable that positive cases may increase.

His statement said they'll confront the outbreak with testing, a surge plan, and protective equipment.