Mar. 3—ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma State Department of Health announced Wednesday it's changing the way it reports COVID-19 deaths in an effort to show a "more timely" picture of the virus' impact in the state.
From here on out, OSDH will include the Provisional Death Count, which is based on death certificates, provided by CDC/NCHS in its daily situation update reports.
Investigating epidemiologists began encountering larger numbers of incomplete records that required in-depth investigations as cases increased toward the end of last year as cases increased, causing a difference with the OSDH death count.
Thorough COVID-19 death investigations will continue along with reporting the Provisional Deaths Count, according to OSDH.
"In the long run, our numbers will more closely align with the CDC's," OSDH said.
On Wednesday, the Provisional Death Count was 7,035.
Oklahoma reported 747, a 0.2% increase, new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the cumulative total of positive cases to 425,746 according to OSDH.
Of the overall cases reported Wednesday by OSDH, 12,248 remained active, a single-day decrease of 283, with 408,963 recovered, including 1,029 since Tuesday's report.
OSDH reported no deaths were reported on Wednesday, keeping the total of deaths in which COVID-19 was the cause or a contributing factor in the state at 4,534, 1.1% of total cases.
Cumulative COVID-19-positive hospitalizations in Oklahoma stood at 24,064 Wednesday, according to OSDH. Of that number, 404 currently are hospitalized, with 118 in ICU, according to OSDH's Executive Report released Wednesday afternoon.
In Enid, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center reported it was treating one COVID-19 patient and had no new deaths. Integris Bass Baptist Health Center reported Wednesday it had four patients and also had no deaths.
Cases in Garfield County increased by two for a total of 7,589, with 192 active and 7,319, or 96.4%, recovered, according to OSDH. The majority of the cases — 6,710, or 88.4% — have been in Enid, which reported 183 active cases and 6,457 recovered.
Of the county's 78 deaths, 70 have been in Enid, according to OSDH city data. Five have been in Lahoma and one each in Fairmont, Garber and Covington. Deaths listed by ZIP code on the OSDH website has Enid with 69 deaths.
There have been 2,937 cases, with 2,809 recovered and 37 deaths, from the 73701 ZIP code, primarily the eastern half of Enid, and 3,683 cases, with 3,565 recovered and 32 deaths, from 73703, or the western half, according to OSDH data on Wednesday. There were 39 cases with 38 recovered in the 73705 ZIP code, listed as Vance Air Force Base.
Other Northwest Oklahoma county case increases Wednesday included three in Noble, two in Kingfisher and one each in Alfalfa, Grant, Major and Woodward. No cases were reported in Blaine and Woods counties.
COVID-19 data per other Northwest Oklahoma counties released Wednesday by OSDH:
—Woodward with 3,087 cases, 2,998 recovered, 71 active and 18 deaths, 12 from Woodward, three from Mooreland, two from Fort Supply and one from Sharon.
—Kingfisher with 1,989 cases, 1,919 recovered, 46 active and 24 deaths, 11 from Kingfisher, seven from Hennessey, four from Okarche and two from Dover.
—Noble with 1,350 cases, 1,288 recovered, 49 active and 13 deaths, including eight from Perry, two from Red Rock and one each from Billings, Marland and Morrison.
—Woods with 1,185 cases, 1,155 recovered, 19 active and 11 deaths, nine from Alva and two not listed by town.
—Alfalfa with 1,149 cases, 1,134 recovered, 10 active and five deaths, though city data shows seven: two each from Aline, Carmen and Helena and one from Cherokee.
—Blaine with 998 cases, 955 recovered, 35 active and eight deaths, two from Canton and one from Watonga. Five are listed in Hydro, which Blaine shares with Caddo County, and one in Geary, which Blaine shares with Canadian.
—Major with 939 cases, 910 recovered, 17 active and 12 deaths, eight from Fairview, one each from Cleo Springs and Ringwood and two not listed by town.
—Grant with 536 cases, 521 recovered, eight active and seven deaths, three from Wakita and one each from Deer Creek, Lamont, Medford and Nash.
Kelci McKendrick is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Kelci? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.