Oklahoma’s COVID case numbers have risen sharply in the past four months. The state department of health’s weekly update shows 8,449 new cases of the virus were confirmed last week.
The state’s seven-day average of new cases per day rose to 1,207 Thursday. On May 12, the average was 149.
Dr. Dale Bratzler of the University of Oklahoma more than half of the new cases in the last week stem from an Omicron subvariant called BA.5.
“BA.5 is highly contagious. In fact, in our team meetings here at OU Health, we have been looking at the modeling and it may be close to as contagious as measles,” Bratzler said.
Click here to view the OSDH situation update for Thursday.
Hospitalizations are also rising, but at a slower rate than cases.
Bratzler said the public should take note of the increase and stay safe by getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and avoiding crowds.
“If you happened to be older, if you have a chronic underlying medical illness, I strongly encourage people to be very careful about their surroundings right now,” he said.