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Oklahoma reports a new daily record of confirmed COVID cases

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

Oklahoma has hit a new daily record high of confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with 858 reported in the last 24 hours, health officials said.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health also reported five additional deaths from COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 404.

Oklahoma has been experiencing a surge in hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, with 426 people currently hospitalized because of the disease, an increase of more than 100 from the same time last week, according to health department figures.

The latest data brings the total number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in Oklahoma to 17,220, although the actual number of positive cases is likely much higher since many people haven't been tested and some who get the disease don't show symptoms.

Meanwhile, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York announced on Tuesday those states will require visitors from Oklahoma to quarantine for 14 days because of the surge in the state.

The previous daily record high in confirmed COVID-19 cases for Oklahoma was 585, which was reported last week. Gov. Kevin Stitt said at the time that the state was a "long ways away" from reintroducing restrictions that might harm the economy.

The Oklahoma State Medical Association last week called for state leaders to require employees and customers of businesses to wear masks around others, but Stitt has so far resisted a mandate. The governor rarely wears a mask in public, even when he's in close proximity with groups of people.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.