Mayor Holt Issues COVID-19 Warning For OKC Residents

Tuesday, June 23rd 2020, 4:06 pm
By: Lisa Monahan

A recent spike in COVID-19 cases evokes a warning from Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.

In a news conference Tuesday, Holt said that if hospitalizations from the coronavirus remain on the rise, Oklahoma City would have "little choice but to roll back to earlier phases of reopening."

From the onset of the pandemic through May, the mayor said Oklahoma City was able to flatten the curve by taking community-wide precautions.

"We proved for a month that we are capable of flattening the curve even as we returned to activities that we had set aside in March and April ... then came June," Holt said.

In the last two weeks, Oklahoma City has averaged 80 cases per day as opposed to 50 cases per day during the last record spike.

"This spike has happened in an environment where total tests administered have declined due to diminishing demand and where the percentage of people testing positive has increased," he said.

Holt said that the recent increase in positive cases is driven by people in the 18 to 50 age group and that people in that demographic are "more likely than ever to be carrying the virus in the metro area."

Holt said as of last Wednesday, 43 people were hospitalized from the virus.

However, 70 people were in the hospital as a result of the coronavirus as of Monday.

ICU patients have jumped from 22 to 33 during that same time but fewer people are dying, Holt said.

"We have never gotten close to overwhelming our healthcare system in OKC," Holt said.

"It is a critical week" because things could go one way or another, he said.

He and Oklahoma City-County Health Department are watching the data and encouraging residents to do their part to prevent potential closures.

"We are trending in a direction that is a cause for concerns," Holt said. "The virus would be stopped in its tracks if we would do three things: wash hands, social distance and wear your masks."