OU Health Official Speaks On Upcoming Anniversary Of Oklahoma’s First COVID-19 Case

Monday, February 28th 2022, 9:40 am

This upcoming Sunday marks two years since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Oklahoma.

We will be taking you on a week-long journey about just how far we've come as a state and what's next.

"If we could have predicted on that day when the first case of Oklahoma was announced. We would be telling people potentially there was going to be 1328 cases every single day, and 20 Oklahomans are going to die every day for the next two years," said Dr. Dale Bratzler with OU Health.

This virus has taken Oklahoma by storm as we're about to enter the third year fighting it.

Dr. Bratzler says he believes if we could've known what COVID would be like, it would have changed the outcome.

"I remember when we had meetings about three positive cases a day, and we were feeling so good, and our conversation was about dropping mitigation," said Dr. Bratzler.

This past year of 2021, we welcomed vaccinations into our prevention strategies, leaving many health officials to believe that was the answer until the Delta and Omicron variants slammed into the public.

Now, as many believe we are past the worst of it, the state still sees more than 1000 cases a day.

To break down those numbers even more, for every 24 reported cases, one person is hospitalized and for every 70 reported cases, one death occurs.

Dr. Bratzler says while we might be entering what people think is an endemic phase, it's difficult to know fully what that means.

"COVID-19 is not going away, and we are going to continue to see patients getting affected, and we are going to see small outbreaks," said Dr. Bratzler.

The conversation now two years later is how do we roll back on those mitigation strategies that were put into place.