One more virus-related death and 352 new coronavirus cases have been reported in the state since Thursday, according to daily numbers released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
A total of 9,706 Oklahomans have tested positive for COVID-19 and the total number of deaths went up to 367, the state health department said Friday.
This is the second highest one day jump in COVID-19 cases since the health department began releasing daily tallies. The highest was reported on Thursday with 450 new cases.
The health department identified three people who died. One died in the last 24 hours.
A man aged 65 or older died in Tulsa County. A woman aged 65 or older died in Comanche County. A man aged 65 or older died in Muskogee County.
A total of 1,209 Oklahomans have been hospitalized due to the virus with 111 patients currently in the hospital.
So far, 7,212 Oklahomans have recovered from the virus with 141 more cases considered recovered since Thursday. Health officials said recovered means the patient is not hospitalized or deceased and it has been 14 days since the onset of symptoms or report.
As of Friday, a total of 264,872 tests have returned negative. This includes state testing and private lab testing since February.
Dr. Dale Bratzler, the chief COVID officer for the University of Oklahoma said the recent increase in cases can’t be attributed to testing. In recent weeks, the number of tests performed have slightly increased, but are still significantly larger than amounts from April.
“I don’t think it’s related to testing at all, I think we’re seeing more community spread of this virus,” Bratzler. “This is exponential growth now.”
On April 28, Gov. Kevin Stitt said anyone who wished to take a COVID-19 test could do so even if they are not presenting symptoms.
On April 22, Stitt introduced his multi-phase plan for reopening the state beginning with plans to reopen personal care businesses on Friday by appointment only.
Oklahoma health officials and Stitt said the coronavirus data was trending downward and was safe to proceed to phase 3 of the reopening plan on June 1.
The state health department advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever or coughing to stay home and limit person-to-person engagement.
The state coronavirus hotline is 877-215-8336 or 211. For a list of coronavirus (COVID-19) links and resources, click here.