‘Flood of red’: Delta variant behind rising hospitalizations in northeastern Oklahoma, prompting experts' pleas to get vaccinated

Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Bruce Dart said Tuesday that area hospitals are seeing an increase of COVID-19 patients again, many of whom are from surrounding counties.

Oklahoma on the Center for Disease Control’s map tracking the severity of COVID-19 spread – a sure sign the Delta variant is here in force, according to the Healthier Oklahoma Coalition’s expert panel.

The two worst states for COVID-19 transmission in the nation, Arkansas and Missouri, are in the federal government’s red zone. Counties in northeastern Oklahoma, including Tulsa County, are lighting up red now, too, with high rates of spread.

Statewide COVID hospitalizations reached a low of 106 patients on June 10. The number of COVID patients in Oklahoma hospitals since then has risen 132% to 246, according to data released Tuesday, with nine consecutive daily reports of increases.