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Coronavirus, Tulsa COVID-19 Update – Dec. 22

12/22/2020
This article was archived on 3/22/2021

Situation Update
To date, the Tulsa Health Department (THD) has confirmed 44,433 positive COVID-19 cases in Tulsa County. 38,582 residents have recovered and 351 have died. Test results are updated daily at www.tulsa-health.org/COVID19. For the most up-to-date news, information and business resources in Tulsa, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/COVID19.

Since the last COVID-19 briefing less than two weeks ago, an additional 59 Tulsa County residents have died. More Tulsa County residents tested positive in November than in any other month, with more than 10,000 cases reported in November alone.

After the first case was announced in our community, it took just under 6 months to reach 10,000 cases. What used to take 6 months to reach that number is now only taking less than 1 month. COVID-19 is currently the 5th leading cause of death for Tulsa County residents when compared to the 2018 top causes of death. This has public health officials concerned because this is based on less than 12-months’ worth of COVID-19 death data, meaning this number will likely be higher.

THD Winter Holiday Safety 

The need for holiday gatherings to be different continue into the winter holidays. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live within your household increase the chance of contracting and spreading COVID-19 and the seasonal flu. 

It’s asked residents utilize alternatives to traditional holiday gatherings that pose a lower risk of possibly contracting and spreading COVID-19, such as gathering with only those who live in your household and holding teleconference celebrations with those who don’t.

The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:

THD will be operating the drive-through vaccination site by appointments only through Wednesday. All THD locations, the COVID-19 phone bank and vaccination and testing sites will be closed Thursday and Friday, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, in observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas day. They will also be closed on New Year’s Day. Results notification and contact tracing will continue for confirmed cases of COVID-19. THD will be operating the drive-through vaccination site and testing by appointments only between Dec. 28 and Dec. 31.

Vaccine Updates
The first doses of Moderna vaccine arrived in Oklahoma yesterday. The initial shipment includes 66,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine and is being distributed across the state during the first part of this week.

The FDA has rigorous scientific and regulatory processes in place that ensure the safety, effectiveness and quality of all vaccines, and are being applied fully to COVID-19 vaccines.

Results from late-stage vaccine trials of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines that were reviewed by the FDA show that both vaccines are safe and effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection. The Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine have overall efficacy rates of 94.1% and 95%, respectively.

The majority of reported side effects were of mild to moderate severity, with few serious events reported to either vaccine. Most of the reported side effects are in line with other commonly received vaccines, such as your annual flu shot.

More information on the State of Oklahoma’s priority phase plan can be found online.

Permit Center Updates
To continue to ensure the safety of both visitors and staff, the Permit Center on the 4th floor of City Hall will remain closed for in-person business through the end of January 2021. 

The Permit Center will continue to provide customer services throughout the in-person closure. Applicants can use the Online Portal for all permit applications except Commercial Priority Review, Commercial Repair, Certificate of Occupancy, Residential Fast Track, and Demolition Permits. All of the exceptions above must email their applications to cotdevsvcs@cityoftulsa.org.

For questions, residents can call (918) 596-9456. Additionally, customers may request virtual Pre-Development, CCP, or other project meetings by email or phone.

All inspectors, plan reviewers and others will continue to take health precautions when they visit your property. All City staff undergo a temperature check before each shift and wear a face covering when in the presence of others. Inspectors will enter commercial occupancies but not enter residences. Any staff with a confirmed COVID case will be placed in quarantine and will not make inspections. 

Blood Donations Needed
Area blood banks need additional blood donations. There are several blood banks in Tulsa you can give blood at, most notably the American Red Cross (ARC) and the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI). You could help patients fighting COVID-19 with your next blood donation. If a donation tests positive for COVID-19 antibodies, blood banks may be able to use plasma from that donation for those in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. You can find more information on antibody testing with OBI online.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, so does the need for convalescent plasma. If you're a COVID-19 survivor, you can sign up to give plasma with ARC to help ensure COVID-19 patients have access to all potentially lifesaving treatments by visiting www.RedCrossBlood.org/Plasma4COVID.