Epidemiologist Predicts Oklahoma Could Have Just 400 COVID-19 Cases Per Day By End Of April


Tuesday, February 2nd 2021, 10:29 pm
By: Sylvia Corkill


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The former state epidemiologist said by the end of April we could see just 400 COVID-19 cases per day. But that is dependent on a few factors.

"I would like to introduce you to a term that may be new,” said Aaron Wendelboe, the former state epidemiologist. “Conditional herd immunity threshold.”

Wendelboe said in contrast to herd immunity, the conditional herd immunity threshold takes into account mitigation efforts like masking and social distancing.

He believes Oklahoma has reached the threshold.

But, said we can’t let our guard down.

"If we remove the mitigation efforts, we no longer meet the condition,” said Wendelboe.

Wendelboe said proper precautions and vaccination means major milestones could be in the state's future.

Including 25 cases per 100,000 by March 31, 10 cases per 100,000 by April 30 and 1 per 100,000 by June 1.

"Let’s say for the 10 cases per 100,000 that is when we are looking at 400 daily reported cases,” said Wendelboe.

June was the last time the state's numbers were that low.

Another positive, Wendelboe doesn't predict another surge of cases here in the state if the vaccine provides a year of immunity and we can vaccinate 8,000 Oklahomans a day through the summer.

"The rough data I have access to I believe we are pretty close to 10,000 doses a day in the state of Oklahoma," said Wendelboe.

But if the vaccine only provides six months immunity Wendelboe noted 16,000 people would need to be vaccinated statewide through the summer.

All of that is conditional on how well the vaccine works against the three known COVID variants.

Wendelboe has predicted that in the next one to two weeks we will see a drop in COVID deaths across the state as well.