OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (TNN) - Governor Stitt signed an executive order to to withdraw the COVID-19 State of Emergency effective Tuesday, May 4.
Gov. Stitt says Oklahoma’s 7-day average of new cases is down 94% from the peak of the pandemic and that hospitalizations are down 90% and are stable.
“Because Oklahomans used personal responsibility to protect themselves, their families and our most vulnerable, the data shows COVID-19 is no longer an emergency,” said Gov. Stitt. “We were the first state to reopen our economy on June 1, and we are continuing to lead the nation now. More people are getting the vaccine every day, our kids are safely back in school, our businesses are open and thriving and our unemployment rate is better than the national average.”
The Oklahoma State Department of Health will continue to collect data from hospitals and testing labs, in order to remain vigilant in their response to COVID-19.
OSDH held a press conference Tuesday to address some of the changes you can expect to see in data reporting practices.
Nightly executive order reports will stop, and the top line data from those reports will be included in the daily situation update emails.
In addition, PPE and hospital bed data will also be put on pause.
Meanwhile, OSDH has identified five “variants of concern” and two “variants of interest” in Oklahoma.
But they say there is no reason to believe that the vaccines aren’t effective against those variants.
“Through vaccine distribution and the hard work of Oklahomans across the state, we’ve reached a place where cases are continuing to decline and the spread of COVID-19 is beginning to slow. With case numbers and hospitalizations at a sustained and consistently manageable level, we’re approaching the ‘new normal’ that we’ve been working toward for so long,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye. “However, we’re not ready to take a victory lap just yet. While we are coming out of the State of Emergency, there’s still work to be done to protect ourselves and others from spreading COVID-19, including new variants. I urge all Oklahomans to keep following the three W’s (wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance) in public spaces and exercising caution as we work to vaccinate more people.”
State Epidemiologist Jolianne Stone says that data will continue to be accessible on the OSDH’s dashboard at at oklahoma.gov/19.