Family & Community
Ray Carter | October 1, 2021
COVID cases continue dramatic decline
While some officials expected COVID-19 infections to surge as children returned to school this fall, believing students would become infected in the classroom and spread the virus to family members at home, state data show the number of active cases declined dramatically throughout September, the first full month of school.
On Sept. 1, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reported there were 22,432 active cases of COVID statewide.
In contrast, the OSDH reported that there were just 11,494 active cases on Oct. 1. Over the month of September, active cases of COVID declined by 48.7 percent.
According to the most recent state Weekly Epidemiology and Surveillance Report, which covers Sept. 19 to Sept. 25, the share of Oklahomans age 18 and older who have received at least one dose of vaccination has reached 69.5 percent (and 91.1 percent of those age 65 and older). The report showed that almost 58.7 percent of Oklahomans who are 18 or older are considered fully vaccinated.
In addition, the state epidemiology report showed that 584,478 Oklahomans have had COVID-19 and recovered, which confers a level of natural immunity to future infection that is understood to generally be as good as or better than what is conferred through vaccination. Many of those who remain unvaccinated are among the group that has immunity due to prior infection and recovery.
The report shows that just over 3 million Oklahomans are age 18 and older. Of that group, 1.7 million have received at least one dose of vaccine. Combined with the number of those with natural immunity, as many as 2.3 million Oklahomans may now have some level of immunity to COVID-19, although some individuals with natural immunity have also chosen to get vaccinated.
Ray Carter is the director of OCPA’s Center for Independent Journalism. He has two decades of experience in journalism and communications. He previously served as senior Capitol reporter for The Journal Record, media director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and chief editorial writer at The Oklahoman. As a reporter for The Journal Record, Carter received 12 Carl Rogan Awards in four years—including awards for investigative reporting, general news reporting, feature writing, spot news reporting, business reporting, and sports reporting. While at The Oklahoman, he was the recipient of several awards, including first place in the editorial writing category of the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives Carl Rogan Memorial News Excellence Competition for an editorial on the history of racism in the Oklahoma legislature.