OSDH Brings In 10,000 Extra COVID-19 Tests Statewide

Sunday, November 29th 2020, 11:05 pm
By: Tevis Hillis

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is bringing in 10,000 additional COVID-19 tests for the next two weeks on top of their regular testing happening across the state.

"Some of the sites, maybe not the sites we operate, but some of the other sites like CVS pharmacies, it is a little harder to get into. So, we wanted to make sure as a state, we were kind of planning accordingly," said Deputy Commissioner at the Oklahoma State Health Department, Travis Kirkpatrick.

As more Oklahomans test positive for COVID-19, Dr. Dale Bratzler with OU Health said there is an apparent reason for more people needing a test.

"Because number one there are more people infected. But also, people who are exposed by someone and wanting to get a test done," said Dr. Bratzler. 

He said it is important to see a lower positive test rate. According to the states latest report, the state’s positive test rate is it just below 15%.

"Nearly 15% of them are positive, which is very, very high. We know that when your positive test rate is very high, that is actually a marker that you are not doing enough test," said Dr. Bratzler.

Kirkpatrick said the state is continually working to increase testing. He said since May, the state has conducted 500,000 tests.

"Our philosophy with testing is a test for anyone who would like one," said Kirkpatrick. 

The state administers the PCR gold standard test with results ranging from one-two days.

"I've heard from $50 dollars up to $3,000 depending on who you get tested through. That is why it is such a good benefit for us to offer this at no charge," said Kirkpatrick.  

If you would like to find a COVID-19 testing site, visit the OSDH website or this resource here.