Oklahoma still in COVID-19 red zone according to task force

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
10/18/2020 10:00 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma remains in the red zone for newly reported coronavirus cases, according to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which recommends residents wear masks among the ways to slow the virus' spread.

“Community spread continues in Oklahoma in both rural and urban areas,” according to the task force report released Wednesday by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. “Mitigation efforts should ... include mask wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and avoiding crowds in public and social gatherings in private to stop the increasing spread among residents of Oklahoma.”

There were 749 people hospitalized Wednesday, down from a record high 760 reported Tuesday, the heath department said. There were an additional 1,121 confirmed cases, bringing the total to 102,614 since the pandemic began.

Health officials reported 13 additional deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the disease, bringing the death toll to 1,132. The true number of coronavirus cases is likely higher because many people haven't been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe illness and be fatal.

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