State, Local Health Leaders Update On COVID Omicron Cases In Oklahoma

Wednesday, January 12th 2022, 9:16 pm

State and local health leaders said we are seeing the highest number of COVID cases we've seen during the entire pandemic.

Leaders said it could be four to six weeks before we see a peak in Omicron cases.

"It is just everywhere, and I think it's really difficult with high number of cases we're getting to pinpoint specific places. I mean I think no matter where you go, if you go out in public, there's potential you are going to be exposed to someone with COVID," said Dr. Bruce Dart with Tulsa County Health Department.

Chief COVID Officer for OU Health, Doctor Dale Bratzler, said we're seeing an increase in cases every day across the state, with the rolling average being 7,200 cases per day.

He said cases might look lighter compared to the rest of the country, however the State Health Department only updates the case map weekly.

"We were down, we are around 48th, 49th in the nation in terms of new cases per day. That's been steadily going up. We're at 39th now in the nation. We have 179 new cases per 100,000 per day," he said.

Bratzler said getting a vaccine and a booster shot when eligible reduces your chances of being in the hospital and having complications.

He said a lot of Oklahomans haven't gotten their booster. A recent national study shows it could help.

"If we could double the rate of booster administration, if we could get more people coming in to get their boosters, we could prevent more than 41,000 deaths, between now and May," he said.

Dr. Bruce Dart with the Tulsa County Health Department said 58.8-percent of Tulsa County residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19, with 33-percent having gotten their booster.

"While for many people this could be mild, this is certainly not a mild illness for everyone. And as we talk about the individual effect, we talk about the population effect, that's where we see the huge number of cases and hospitalizations," he said.

Dr. Dart said it is now recommended to wear a surgical mask when indoors; opposed to a cloth mask. 


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