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Positive Virus Tests Increase, Fatalities Decrease


June 30, 2020 – As Oklahoma residents gear up for the Fourth of July weekend, record-breaking daily COVID-19 cases continue to be reported. End of the month totals also reveals significant increases in new hospitalizations, active cases, and self-quarantined patient numbers.

With Tuesday's numbers showing a new record of 585 new COVID-19 cases reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), the agency confirmed that new and cumulative case numbers do not include patients who have tested positive multiple times.

"The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports the number of positive COVID-19 cases as unique individuals, regardless of how many times they have tested positive," said Rob Crissinger, OSDH manager of Communications and Media Relations.

"If somebody tests positive, recovers, and then tests positive again, that is not counted as a new case."

Crossinger added, "Patients are considered recovered if they are not hospitalized or deceased 14 days after a positive COVID-19 case is reported. A negative re-test result is not required for someone to be considered recovered."

The cumulative total of positive Oklahomans, as of Tuesday, was 13,757. There were 6,162 new cases reported in June, which is more than double the number of new cases OSDH reported in May or April.

 The explosion of new cases also skyrocketed the number of active cases in the state from that of 728 on June 1 to 3,285 active cases on June 30 – a 451.24 percent increase in 30 days.

New hospitalizations also saw a significant increase in June. OSDH data shows total COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 542 during the month, more than double the 212 increase reflected in May. Total cumulative hospitalizations since March was 1,520, as of Tuesday, June 30.

One other number continues breaking records. Since March, there have been 12 times the reported number of self-quarantined Oklahomans (after being seen in a hospital during each 24 hour reporting period) was more than 700. A majority, eight of the 12, has been from the last eight, consecutive Executive Reports (June 19-June 30).

Each of the past four consecutive reports released shows more than 1,000 Oklahomans self-quarantined after being seen in a hospital during each 24 hour reporting period, according to OSDH data - a total of nearly 5,000 Oklahomans. In addition, the four reports before that, each listed more than 700 patients seen and self-quarantined during the 24 hour reporting period.

Only one other time has that number gone above 1,000. The May 5 Executive Report listed 1,244 patients self-quarantined in the 24 hour reporting period. And other than May 5, only three other dates have reflected numbers above 700 - the May 4 report listed 769 patients, May 8 listed 710, and April 9 had 719.

On the other side of all the data, fatalities decreased through the month. COVID-19 related deaths reported throughout June were 53, about half the number of fatalities in May, for a cumulative total of 387 fatalities as of Tuesday.

Pottawatomie County

Locally, testing at SSM Health Shawnee has been steady, according to Carla Tollett, SSM Health Communications, and Marketing Consultant.  

"But we have not had a major increase," she said Tuesday.

Drive-up testing is available at SSM Health Shawnee, with results typically back in a couple of days.

Express Wellness in Shawnee showed all COVID-19 testing spots full on Monday and Tuesday according to their website. A staff member said they saw 70 patients before 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The clinic appears to be the only area location offering rapid testing results within 15 minutes.

 Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services (CPNHS) has also continued to offer testing to clinic patients. So far, CPNHS has administered 888 tests with 33 positive and 835 negative, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adam Vascellaro.

CPNHS also does not include repeat positive results in their total number, but take a different approach than OSDH on recoveries.

"Within CPNHS, we are using more stringent lab-based protocols to get them to what we consider "fully" recovered, which is to test our patient every two weeks until their PCR is negative and IgG antibody is positive," Dr. Vascellaro stated. "This indicates they are no longer shedding COVID-19 viral RNA from their nose and they have developed a longer-term immunity."

According to OSDH, Pottawatomie County added 14 new positive cases in the past week, for a cumulative total of 104. Among those 104 patients, four died in April, and OSDH currently lists 77 as recovered, leaving 23 known active cases.

Shawnee now reflects a total of 72 COVID-19 cases, an increase of nine in the past week. 

Nineteen of the 72 cases are considered active. Tuesday's OSDH data shows 43 residents from the 74801 zip code have tested positive since March, and 27 residents in the 74804 area have tested positive for the virus.

Tecumseh picked up one new case since last week for a cumulative total of 10 residents. Nine are now listed as a recovered, leaving one known active case.

In the 74851 area code, which includes Dale and McLoud, three new cases were added in the past week, with 11 residents listed as recovered.

For the rest of the county, Tuesday's cumulative total recoveries from OSDH are:

• 3 in the Asher/74826 area;

• 3 cases in Wanette;

• 4 cases in Meeker*;

• 2 cases in Earlsboro*;

• 1 case in Maud*; and

• 4 cases in Konawa*, with 1 (Seminole County) fatality and 2 recovered.

*denotes multi-county towns

OSDH has reported no cases in Macomb or Saint Lewis.


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