Changes To COVID-19 Reporting In Oklahoma To Happen As Gov. Stitt Lifts Emergency Declaration


Tuesday, May 4th 2021, 4:07 pm
By: Erica Rankin


OKLAHOMA CITY -

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 

  1. Data contained in the Executive Order report that is still being collected will be released in the daily Situation Update instead
  2. The Bed & PPE dashboard on the Executive Order Report webpage will no longer be updated and eventually be pulled down

The Situation Update will continue to report:

  1. New cases and seven-day case average
  2. Currently hospitalized and ICU numbers from HHS
  3. If needed, OSDH will report positivity with positive and negative test results

The Weekly Epidemiology Report will continue and will contain:

  1. OSDH case investigation deaths, updated weekly
  2. Percent positivity from OSDH electronic lab reported data (note that positivity may increase due to the use of a new data source)
  3. Current hospitalization data from HHS reporting
  4. Additional topics/data will be added as appropriate; for example, variant surveillance
  5. Cumulative Antibody Test Positivity will be removed
  6. All other existing content in the report will remain the same

OSDH will likely stop publishing the Hospital Surge Tier Report

The Alert Map, which includes the County Risk Level Trends, will change

  1. Level 4 is based on staffed bed availability options, which will no longer be tracked on the dashboard as of the expiration of the EO 
  2. OSDH will provide more detailed updates on this as it is finalized

Active case calculation will be updated to 14 days post specimen collection or symptom onset

  1. OSDH is removing the currently hospitalized criteria that was part of the original calculation

Recovered cases will be removed from the data dashboard