OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The number of deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, topped 8,000 Thursday in Oklahoma, according to the state health department.
The death toll reached 8,023, an increase of 23, and the total number of virus cases rose by 483 to 442,389 since the pandemic began, the Oklahoma State Department of Health said.
The rolling average of daily deaths in the state has increased during the past two weeks from 8.9 per day to 245.1, a spike that state epidemiologist Dr. Jared Taylor predicted on Tuesday as he said the health department had begun using a new algorithm to confirm some COVID deaths that do not require human review.
The rolling average of daily new cases is also rising in the state, from 374.1 daily to 506 after the health department reported about 1,300 additional confirmed cases, most between December and March.
Taylor said the additional cases came from one laboratory, which he declined to identify, that thought it was properly reporting cases, but they weren’t recorded in the system the state health department uses to track cases.