State health officials warn of surge after around 6.7k COVID-19 cases reported over two days

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health said COVID-19 cases in the state surged Sunday and Monday after about 6,700 cases were reported in those two days. 

Over 2,000 cases were confirmed Monday after more than 4,000 on Saturday. State health leaders are chalking it up to a back log in the numbers, while out state health commissioner admits that right now it’s still a sit and watch kind of plan. 

“We’re going to call on all Oklahomans to take immediate action to slow the spread,” said state health commissioner Lance Frye on Monday. “Our numbers are increasing and should be taken seriously.” 

The governor is expected to hold a news conference Tuesday at 2 p.m. to discuss the spike. It is unclear on what actions he is planning to take, if any. 

On Saturday, the state originally reported 4,741 new cases. They corrected that number on Sunday, citing duplicate numbers by labs switching from manual to electronic reporting.  

“Yesterday’s count of 4,507 is an accurate reflection of how much this virus is transmitting across our communities,” Frye said. 

Monday, another 2,000 was added to the count. The holidays are just around the corner. Something health leaders have been expressing concerns over in recent days. 

“We want to make sure everyone is taking the appropriate precautions,” Frye said. 

This recent rise comes almost a week after the United States general election. Some of the watch parties went maskless, with little to no social distancing measures in place. 

“I don’t think masks are going to stop a virus,” said Joanna Baker at the Tulsa County GOP election watch party in Broken Arrow Tuesday. “It is a virus and it’s going to have to go through us.” 

Gov. Stitt has said he has no plans for a statewide mask mandate. Frye said he thinks people should wear masks he doesn’t think a majority would follow a mandate. 

“Do we have independent people in the state of Oklahoma that believe in their freedom so much that they will do something the opposite you tell them to do?” Frye asked. “My answer is absolutely we do have those people in Oklahoma.” 

State epidemiologist Jared Taylor added to Frye’s statement. 

“The Governor is duly elected official of this state, I’m not,” Taylor said. “That’s a political decision. It’s not a decision for me to make.” 

Others like Sophia Rone in Oklahoma City has tested positive along with three of her four kids. Unable to return to work until everyone in her home tests positive, she said the damage has already been done as she is running out of money with nowhere to turn. 

“To tell people what I’m going through, physically financially emotionally, is really hard,” Rone said. 

The state epidemiologist said today that the virus is spreading so fast it’s hard to pinpoint where the most spread is happening.

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