Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the decision Monday to withdraw the state’s COVID-19 emergency declaration. He proudly noted Oklahoma’s 7-day average of new cases is down 94% from its peak, among the lowest per capita rates in the country.
The lift of the emergency declaration will affect some data reporting, but Stitt said the state and health department will remain vigilant.
Back on March 15 of 2020 is when Stitt issued this COVID-19 state of emergency declaration.
After 415 days, with hospitalizations down 90% and remaining steady in the state, Stitt said now is the time to get our summer back in Oklahoma. So, he decided after much planning to withdraw the declaration.
“The data shows that COVID-19 is no longer an emergency,” said Stitt.
With that withdraw will come changes to how some state entities will operate moving forward, like data that the state department of health reports.
“We will stop releasing the regular executive order report,” said Derek Pate, the Director of the Center for Heath Statistics. “That data from the EO that is being collected will be released in the situation update instead. The bed and PPE dashboard on the EO webpage will no longer be updated and will eventually pulled down.”
Other things like the hospital tier data and the COVID-19 risk map will most likely also go away in the near future as it is no longer required.
But, Commissioner of Health, Lance Frye, said that they have been planning for quite some time with the governor’s office for the lift.
He did reassure that it won’t hurt them in collecting crucial data to monitor future COVID-19 cases and spread.
“In a perfect world we like operating under that declaration because it gives us the freedom to continue to work in an emergency task situation and freedom to do that, but we knew it was coming, we planned for it and we are ready to move forward and we will be OK,” said Frye.
Changes in the data reporting will start to take place Wednesday.
A full list of changes is detailed below:
The agency will stop releasing the regular Executive Order Report
The Situation Update will continue to report:
The Weekly Epidemiology Report will continue and will contain:
OSDH will likely stop publishing the Hospital Surge Tier Report
The Alert Map, which includes the County Risk Level Trends, will change
Active case calculation will be updated to 14 days post specimen collection or symptom onset
Recovered cases will be removed from the data dashboard