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Concern Grows As Oklahoma's Coronavirus Test Positivity Rates Rise

A pharmacist prepares to administer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a community vaccination center in London on Friday.
Chris Jackson
Getty Images
A pharmacist prepares to administer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a community vaccination center in London.

Oklahoma’s coronavirus test positivity rate is climbing again, as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads into Oklahoma.

Although testing overall is down, Oklahoma medical experts say they're concerned with rising positivity rates. Nine percent of tests in the state are coming back positive.

"We're back to levels we've not seen since mid-February, as we were coming off that major peak we had," said Dr. David Kendrick, Department Chair of Medical Informatics at the OU School of Community Medicine.

Oklahoma isn’t experiencing a surge in hospitalizations, like it did this winter, and like other states such as Missouri are seeing now. But Kendrick says there is still cause for concern, especially among those not vaccinated.

"But across the board, almost 28 percent of people who have a positive COVID-19 test in the last 14 days are being admitted," Kendrick said.

He and other medical professionals in the Healthier Oklahoma Coalition said the best way to prevent infection is getting the vaccine, and they recommended continued handwashing and masking.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Catherine Sweeney grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and attended Oklahoma State University. She has covered local, state and federal government for outlets in Oklahoma, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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