OSDH Announces Changes To State Epidemiologist Position


Monday, August 3rd 2020, 6:41 pm
By: Hunter McKee


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The office of the state epidemiologist is going through another reshuffle. For the second time since March, the State Department of Health picked a new leader for the unit.

The State Department of Health said Interim State Epidemiologist Aaron Wendelboe's last day was Friday. The exact reason for his departure is uncertain. However, we were told his contract, which was signed in March, ended.

According to the department, Jared Taylor will serve as an epidemiology consultant. Taylor is an Oklahoma State University faculty member.

In a statement, OSDH regarding Taylor's appointment will "ensure continuity of epidemiological support and expertise to public health stakeholders as agreements are finalized."

It's the epidemiologist’s job to investigate patterns and causes of disease, however, since the outbreak of COVID-19 the state has seen multiple changes to the position.

In March, the OSDH replaced Laurence Burnsed with Wendelboe saying he would "provide epidemiological expertise to Oklahoma stakeholders." On the department's website, Burnsed is still listed as the state epidemiologist.

News 9 reached out to Wendelboe for comment, but he did not respond.