White House report places Oklahoma in top 5 for positive test rate and daily COVID-19 cases

Oklahoma continues to one of the states hit hardest by COVID-19, according to a new report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Oklahoma has the fourth-highest test-positivity rate in the nation as well as the fifth-highest new COVID-19 cases daily rate per capita, according to the report released on Wednesday.

The new rankings place Oklahoma in the “red zone” for the 10th straight week dating back to the first week of July as the state continues to see more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population.

Of all 77 counties in Oklahoma, 65% have moderate or high levels of community transmission, with 34% having high levels of community transmission.

Oklahoma has an 10% positivity rate — the percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive — which was down 1.4% from the week before but remains more than double the national positivity rate of 4.8%.

On Wednesday, Oklahoma reported 970 new infections as well as 12 more deaths related to the virus. Oklahoma has now had 72,284 infections as well as 924 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

The reports recommendations include a review of school learning options for high-level areas, limiting bar and dining capacity and establishing a statewide mask mandate, a tactic Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has opposed throughout the pandemic.

“Mandates statewide is something we just don’t believe in, or at least I don’t believe in,” said Stitt on Sept. 1. “This is about choices, this is about personal responsibility, it’s about taking things seriously versus mandates.”

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