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Health Officials Say Emergency Order Is Needed as COVID Cases Rise in Oklahoma

August 05, 2021

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Illustration of Increase in Virus Cases by a Rising Arrow
On July 27, health officials in Oklahoma urged Gov. Kevin Stitt to issue an emergency declaration to expand the care provided to COVID-19 patients something Stitt has said he wouldn't do.

As shown by Insurance Journal in the article titled "Oklahoma Health Officials Seek Emergency Order as COVID Cases Rise", the president of the state medical association, Dr. Mary Clarke, said that an emergency order would allow hospitals to convert places such as conference rooms into bed space for non-COVID patients. Something that hospitals are not allowed to do under normal circumstances.

An emergency order would also allow public schools to implement mask requirements.

A Democrat from Tulsa, Melissa Provenzano, said, "Needs across Oklahoma are different, and one thing is clear we need local control returned and we need it now." Her opinion is shared by other Democrats in the Oklahoma House who have also called for the declaration of an emergency.

According to data released on July 27 by Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average of new cases in Oklahoma increased from 487.1 on July 11 to 1,158.9 on July 25. Furthermore, 577 COVID-19 hospitalizations were reported by the state health department.

Dr. David Kendrick of the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine said that though Oklahoma does not have a system in place to track the number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in hospitals, he estimates that they account for 99.5% of such cases.

The CDC reported that 39.9% of Oklahomans are now fully vaccinated and 46.9% have received at least one vaccine dose as of July 26.

Nationwide the percentages are 49.1% fully vaccinated, and 56.9% who have at least one dose.

To read the full article, visit: Oklahoma Health Officials Seek Emergency Order as COVID Cases Rise.


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