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Tulsa health officials encourage safety methods to prevent spread of COVID-19

Covid testing
Posted at 1:29 PM, Jul 21, 2021

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Health Department is encouraging Tulsa County residents to follow public health guidelines for preventing community spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart gave the following statement:

“The COVID-19 vaccines remain the best prevention tool against the virus that has killed more than 1,148 Tulsa County residents, and I encourage everyone 12 years and older to receive the vaccine if you haven’t done so already. I urge everyone who is not fully immunized, to wear a mask indoors when in close contact with other people. Those who are at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 due to pre-existing conditions should follow this same guidance, regardless of vaccination status, due to the higher level of transmissibility of the Delta variant.”

THD announced on July 14 the recent 3-day average for hospitalizations in Tulsa County was 107, with 45 patients in intensive care units. The latest available data indicates those numbers have increased to 175 hospitalizations, with 70 patients in the ICU. It was also announced on July 14 that 613 new weekly cases were reported among Tulsa County residents, a 69.8% increase from the week prior.

In July 2020, 1,118 new cases were reported that week and new weekly reports are nearly identical a year later at 1,120 new cases. The latest available data indicates that among newly identified cases since July 4th, 36.4% of new cases were among individuals aged from 18 to 35-years-old.

THD reports unvaccinated individuals appear to be driving the spread, as the vaccines remain highly effective at reducing infection and serious illness. The latest available immunization data indicates among Tulsa County residents under the age of 35, only 17.4% are fully vaccinated, that includes kids under 12 who are ineligible for vaccination.

Dr. Dart said this about health safety guidelines:

“Regardless of vaccination status, I urge people to continue taking steps to protect themselves from exposure and infection from COVID-19. A layered approach of vaccines, masks, social distancing, and handwashing is the most protective step people can take to ensure they stay healthy until the risk of exposure to the Delta variant and COVID-19 wanes in Tulsa County."

To date, 49.7% of all Tulsa County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments can be made online at an online vaccine portal.

Residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are being urged to get tested, even if they’ve already been vaccinated. Testing will help public health professionals detect and track emerging variants.

THD is partnering with two local providers to offer free COVID-19 testing. For more information, please visit THD's website.


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