Registered nurse Raquel Hernandez is reflected in the window of an SUV as she reaches in to swab a passenger for a COVID-19 test at a mobile testing site at the Murray County Expo Center in Sulphur, Okla., Tuesday, April 14, 2020. The testing was performed by staff from District Eight of the Oklahoma State Department of Health. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma health officials report a post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations

  • Catherine Sweeney

On Monday morning, The State Department of Health announced nearly 8,000 new coronavirus cases reported over the weekend.

There are a few reasons to take the figure with a grain of salt. It can take a few days for labs to report positive cases to the department, so many of those tests likely took place before this weekend. Also, that number could be artificially low. Oklahoma hasn’t established a system for reporting at-home test results, and many rapid tests at clinics aren’t reported either.

The department also reported 900 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday. Although that figure has grown considerably in the past few weeks, it is only a fraction of the hospitalizations reported this time last year. On Jan. 4, 2021 — the first Monday of last January — Oklahoma reported 1,909 COVID-19 hospitalizations.