894 New COVID-19 Cases Reported Tuesday In State, 820 More COVID-19 Cases Found In Backlog

Tuesday, July 21st 2020, 2:51 pm
By: LeighAnne Manwarren

A large number of new coronavirus cases were reported Tuesday and the state health department found a backlog of 820 cases, Oklahoma Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye said.

Frye said 894 new cases were tallied on Tuesday and the department found a backlog of 820 cases that was not reported.

A total of 27,147 Oklahomans have tested positive for COVID-19, the state health department said on Tuesday.

Nine more Oklahomans died on Tuesday bringing the total number of virus-related deaths up to 461. One death was identified in the last 24 hours.

The state health department released the daily COVID-19 numbers Tuesday afternoon after the news conference.

Three people in Oklahoma County died; a woman aged 36 to 49 and two men aged 65 or older.

Two women aged 65 or older died in Tulsa County.

One man aged 50 to 64 died in McCurtain County. One man aged 65 or older died in Noble County. One woman aged 65 or older died in Pottawatomie County. A man aged 65 or older died in Rogers County.

A total of 2,429 Oklahomans have been hospitalized due to the virus with 613 patients currently in the hospital.

As of Monday, 19,750 Oklahomans have recovered from the virus with 284 more cases considered recovered since Sunday. 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.

The state health department did not update the number of recovered patients in its dashboard.

As Tuesday, 472,057 tests have returned negative since testing began in February.

The large increase in cases reported does not reflect the true rate of infection, the state health department said Tuesday morning.

The daily numbers were lower for Sunday and Monday due to technical data entry issues and did not reflect real-time data, state health officials said Monday.

This is the third time the glitch has been reported. It happened on June 5 and June 18 when COVID-19 data took several hours to be released. Those issues were resolved within 24 hours.

The state health department said it and other public health officials across the U.S. are dealing with outdated data systems and are often dependent on fax machines and manual data entry.

Now, the Oklahoma State Department of Health is in the midst of an upgrade to the public health investigation and disease detection of Oklahoma (PHIDDO) disease reporting system. Officials hope the upgraded system will make the data entry process more efficient.

Click here to view the state's COVID-19 data.

On Wednesday, July 15, Gov. Kevin Stitt said he had tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first governor in the country to test positive for the virus. He has since posted video updates of concerning his health and quarantine.

Oklahoma reported its first child death related to the virus on July 12. The child was a 13-year-old daughter of a soldier stationed at Fort Sill.

Shortly after the report of the girl's death, state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister recommended for all Oklahomans to wear face masks to allow the safely reopening of schools in the fall.

On June 30, Stitt wore a face mask and "strongly encouraged" Oklahomans to follow CDC guidelines pertaining to face masks.

More: Gov. Stitt Recommends Wearing Face Masks During Update Concerning COVID-19 In State

On April 28, Stitt said anyone who wished to take a COVID-19 test could do so even if they are not presenting symptoms.

Related: Gov. Stitt Presents State's Coronavirus Figures To Show Oklahoma Is Ready To Reopen

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. 

Related: Real-Time Data For Total COVID-19 Cases Lower Due To Technical Data Entry Issues, OSDH Says

The state coronavirus hotline is 877-215-8336 or 211. For a list of coronavirus (COVID-19) links and resources, click here.