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Tulsa health officials create new high risk zone map based on local data

Dr. Dart with Tulsa Health Department
Posted at 8:54 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 10:41:08-04

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa’s top medical professionals are sounding the alarm between Oklahoma and federal COVID-19 risk levels.

Specifically, how each office labels “red zones.” Now, there could be a new way to categorize “high risk” zones in Tulsa.

"To constantly have these conversations about the difference between the federal report, the state report, it's irrelevant," said Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director for Tulsa Health Department.

On Monday, a new White House report shows Tulsa having between 10-19% positivity rate through PCR testing; putting the county in the “red zone.” The state’s COVID-19 alert system has Tulsa County in the orange. That’s because they put a metric value on medical equipment and available beds and staff.

"We're on the ground in Tulsa. Let's talk about the risks here in Tulsa," Dr. Dart said.

To help clear up the confusion, the Tulsa Health Department is making its own high-risk map. Each zip code will represent its own risk category.

"People can really determine where they work and where they play," Dr. Dart said. "Is there risk in that zip code? is there a risk in our county? Is there a risk in our community?"

All data will be collected from local testing sites and regional hospitals. Each probable and confirmed case is then tallied on the Tulsa Health Department's website. Dr. Dart says while their new map is still being created, it could change their guidance to local government.

"At least it will lead us in the right direction and have the right conversation about what we need to do here.”

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