With new infections of COVID-19 continuing to rise across the country, area officials are watching an uptick in local cases as well — and say low vaccination rates could contribute to yet another surge in infections in Washington County.
“We are starting to see an uptick in COVID numbers locally, including within our organization,” said City Manager Mike Bailey. “Unfortunately, our very low vaccination rates make our community more susceptible to another surge. We are still in the ‘Yellow’ category and will hopefully stay that way, but we are at our highest level since March 31, 2021.”
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma currently ranks 26th in the number of total reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and ninth in the cumulative incidence (per 100,000 persons) of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
- CDC provisional state data shows that 467,198 Oklahomans have contracted the virus and, of those, 8,671 have died. There are currently 5,496 active cases in Oklahoma, including 465 new cases. As of this morning, the seven-day rolling average in new cases in Oklahoma is 733.
- In Washington County, 5,384 people have contracted the virus, and 119 have died, according to the OSDH.
- CDC stats show that 1.8 million Oklahoman’s have received at least one does of the vaccine, while 1.5 million have been fully vaccinated.
- In Washington County, 30.4 percent of the population has been vaccinated, according to the CDC.
- In the U.S., more than 34 million people have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 609,000 people have died.
Reports indicate the vast majority of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths are among those unvaccinated. But health officials warn that other precautions to protect against the disease are still warranted, even for those fully vaccinated. In Oklahoma, more than 1,000 fully vaccinated people have contracted the virus and, of those, 14 had died as of earlier this month.
“Oklahoma’s current trend with new positive cases continues to reflect community transmission, which can be reduced by getting the COVID-19 vaccine, keeping six feet of physical distance from others, wearing face coverings when around individuals from outside the household, avoiding touching your face, and regular hand-washing,” OSDH said last week.
To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit vaccinate.oklahoma.gov, or locate other vaccine opportunities at vaccines.gov. Vaccines are also available at local pharmacies and other organizations.
“Unfortunately, it is likely that we have not seen the last of COVID-19,” said Bailey. “We certainly encourage everyone who hasn’t done so to consider getting vaccinated. This is the single most effective thing we can do to stop the virus from spreading. We also encourage everyone to continue following the guidelines of the CDC — all of which are quite well known by now; wear your mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands.”