© 2023 KGOU
News and Music for Oklahoma
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Oklahoma hits its highest COVID-19 case count, positivity rate of the pandemic

COVID-19 testing
David J. Phillip
People wait inside their vehicles while in line at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site during the coronavirus pandemic Thursday, July 16, 2020, in Houston.

Oklahoma has entered yet another coronavirus spike. People across the state are testing positive at the highest rate ever.

For the second year, Oklahoma is seeing major COVID-19 transmission after the holidays. So far in 2022, more than 12,000 people have tested positive, with daily case counts rivaling those of pre-vaccine spikes.

Dr. David Kendrick, department chair of Medical Informatics at OU School of Community Medicine, says the percentage of Oklahomans getting tested and getting a positive result matched its all-time record this week.  That’s especially true for children and young adults. There’s one thing about these figures: They’re not complete. 

"What makes me most concerned about that is many of the tests — and maybe even most of the tests — are being performed not in a health care delivery system, but at home," said Dr. Kendrick.

Oklahoma doesn’t have a way to report at-home tests, so they’re not included in case counts.  

With COVID-19 testing in higher demand and increased cases over the last week, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced Tuesday it is extending COVID-19 testing hours at local county health departments, and will offer weekend availability at select locations.

“Like other states, Oklahoma is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, however many other respiratory illnesses are occurring as well,” stated Keith Reed, interim commissioner of health. “We highly encourage anyone who is feeling ill to stay home from work, school and other activities and schedule a COVID-19 test or appointment with their physician. Staying home while awaiting your appointment, results and for your symptoms to clear is important for your health and will help prevent the spread of illness.”

Testing locations and hours can be found by visiting oklahoma.gov/covid19/testing-sites. Oklahomans can also call their local county health department or 2-1-1 for hours and locations.

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.
More News
Support nonprofit, public service journalism you trust. Give now.