This week’s report for Oklahoma from Vice President Mike Pence’s White House coronavirus task force says Oklahoma continues to outpace nearly every other state in the country for new infections and test positivity rate, but that the Tulsa metro has exited the highest risk category for the first time since mid-July.
“Oklahoma is in the red zone for cases, indicating 101 or more new cases per 100,000 population last week, with the 5th highest rate in the country,” the report reads. “Oklahoma is in the red zone for test positivity, indicating a rate at or above 10.1%, with the 3rd highest rate in the country.”
The report says Oklahoma recorded 201 new confirmed infections per 100,000 residents last week, compared to a national average of just 93 and a 15% increase from the previous week. The state’s test positivity rate also jumped to 11.8%, versus a national average of only 4.3%.
“79% of all counties in Oklahoma have moderate or high levels of community transmission (yellow, orange, or red zones), with 48% having high levels of community transmission (red zone),” the report says.
“Rapidly scale up testing to identify individuals with COVID-19 with support for isolation to reduce community transmission. Target testing in areas with persistent high levels of transmission and rapidly increasing incidence,” the report says, in the first bullet point under a heading reading “RECOMMENDATIONS.”
For the first time since the July 14th report, the Tulsa metro is not included in the red zone for localities. It now sits in the newly introduced orange category, alongside Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Muskogee, Lawton, Fort Smith and Bartlesville. The red category includes 10 localities, including Ponca City and Miami.