TULSA, Okla. — As Vice President Kamala Harris announced Tuesday she has tested positive for COVID, state health leaders held a COVID update to share how things look in Oklahoma.
In a virtual briefing the Healthier Oklahoma Coalition shared a lot of data showing the history of the pandemic and they pointed out a slight rise in COVID cases yet again.
Nationwide there has been a 53% increase in reported COVID cases over the past 2 weeks.
Most notably in the Omicron family of variants.
Dr. Dale Bratzler OU’s chief COVID officer says in the United States region 6, which includes Oklahoma, BA.2 accounts for 87% of cases and BA.2.12.1 accounts for almost 9% which rose from 1% a week ago.
“So we’ve see a fairly dramatic increase in the spread of this new subvarient. Which is more contagious than Omicron was. It’s really spreading rapidly,” Dr. Bratzler said.
Health leaders point out it’s difficult to really gauge how many new cases we actually have since so many people are using at-homes tests which aren’t counted in case reports.
Because of that Dr. Bratzler says they will be doing more wastewater testing to determine COVID’s prevalence.
“I’ve had a conversation with the commissioners and I know that they are putting in place plans to do fairly substantial wastewater testing in multiple sites across the state as that early bell weather of potential infection,” he said.
Oklahoma health leaders are still encouraging people to wear masks especially when traveling even though a federal judge overturned the transportation mask mandate.
“Her decision was not based on any medical decision but strictly on the law,” said Dr. David Holden the Oklahoma State Medical Association President.
Dr. Bratzler encourages people to get vaccinated and to get boosted. Plus, he says there is evidence that mixing and matching vaccine brands can be beneficial.
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