Active cases hold slow pattern downward

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
A masks-required sign in Shawnee reminds residents of the local COVID-19-related ordinance.

Active COVID-19 cases continue to hover around 200 in Pottawatomie County and 100 in Shawnee as they have for the past couple weeks. Just a month ago numbers were double those figures — at 412 for the county and 227 in Shawnee.

At this time last month deaths were recorded at 69 and 52, respectively, compared to Monday's figures at 81 and 59.

Last week the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) adjusted the way it reports confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.

As the state's active cases continue to wobble just under 12,000 regarding COVID-19, Oklahoma residents can't see much of the information previously provided over the past year.

On Wednesday, March 3, OSDH altered how it reported its daily COVID-19 Situation Updates.

“Today we are changing the way we report COVID-19 deaths in an effort to show a more timely picture of the disease’s impact in Oklahoma,” the report reads. “Moving forward, we will include the Provisional Death Count provided by CDC/NCHS in the daily Situation Update reports.”

The Provisional Death Count is based on death certificates. As cases increased toward the end of 2020, OSDH investigating epidemiologists began encountering larger numbers of incomplete records requiring in-depth investigation. The process subsequently caused an increasing difference between the OSDH death count.

“Thorough investigations of each COVID-19 death will continue while also reporting the Provisional Death Count, and in the long run, our numbers will more closely align with the CDC’s,” the update states.

Monday's Provisional Death Count (CDC/NCHS) was 7,555, compared to Oklahoma's count at 4,701.

On Tuesday, March 9, reports indicated there were two Pottawatomie County deaths to report — one from Shawnee and one rurally. There have been no more deaths reported in the county since Tuesday.

Around the country

In the U.S., 29,438,775 cases have been recorded so far. There have been a reported 534,888 total deaths, compared to 485,336 a month ago. The OSDH website no longer offers data determining how many in the U.S. have recovered and how many cases are still active.

In the state, OSDH reports 416,227 have recovered of the 432,793 total cases, and marks the active case count at 11,865.

In the county, of the 8,044 total cases documented, 7,760 have reportedly recovered. Active cases number 203.

In Shawnee, there were 4,934 total cases reported, according to Monday's data. Reportedly, 4,775 have recovered. The OSDH reports active cases are now at 100.

For more information, visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov.

Watch for updates.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.