Oklahoma topped new COVID-19 records Saturday, marking a one-day increase of over 1,800 new virus cases, the state health department reported.
Gov. Keven Stitt (R) moved on Friday to extend the state of emergency — an order that was first issued in March — for 30 days, according to an official press release.
“This health crisis still exists, and still needs to be addressed in various ways by executive order,” Stitt said.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health counted 1,829 newly-reported cases Saturday, adding to the state’s total of 115,685 since the outset of the pandemic.
Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Surge Plan Advisor Matt Stacy announced Thursday that Oklahoma City would move to Tier 2 of its hospital surge plan – a plan to transfer less severe patients to rehab and prioritize focus on potentially fatal infections, a CBS affiliate KWTV reported.
The health department also reported a record number of active hospitalizations for the virus Friday – 956 hospitalizations – down to 924 patients on Saturday.
Thirteen additional fatalities were marked on Friday, and 11 died from the virus on Saturday, the health department reported.
Oklahoma has recorded a total of 1,245 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic’s outset.
There are currently 15,740 active cases in the state, and records show 98,700 people have recovered from the coronavirus.
Still, the AP noted the actual number of cases in Oklahoma is likely higher because many residents have yet to be tested.
Earlier this month, State Senator Kay Floyd, the Democratic Leader of the State Senate, wrote a letter to Stitt on behalf of Oklahoma Senate Democrats calling for more decisive action against COVID-19.
Floyd’s letter referenced the White House coronavirus task force’s early October report, which detailed Oklahoma as having the tenth highest COVID-19 positivity rate of any state in the country, a local NBC affiliate KFOR reported.
“Oklahoma faces a serious public health emergency in the fight to contain COVID-19. The Oklahoma Senate Democrats urge you to implement the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s recommendations,” Floyd said in the letter.
Studies show some carriers of COVID-19 may show moderate to light symptoms of the virus. In some cases, patients could be asymptomatic and unaware they are sick.
Virus cases in older adults or those with preexisting conditions should be treated seriously, as both factors could lead to more dangerous or even fatal respiratory symptoms.