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Coronavirus, Tulsa COVID-19 Update – Sept. 3

Tulsa Health Department Update

On March 6, the first Tulsa County resident was confirmed positive for COVID-19. On July 23, 1 percent of Tulsa County residents had tested positive for COVID-19. By August 30, more than 2 percent of Tulsa County tested positive. As long as the virus continues to spread in the community, residents are at risk of contracting the virus. Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness that may result in hospitalization, intensive care, a ventilator or even death. The best way to protect yourself, protect the most vulnerable, and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to follow the “three W’s”:

  1. Wear a mask when you are around anyone who does not reside in your home
  2. Wash your hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily accessible
  3. Watch your distance and stay 6 feet away from others

Testing

The Tulsa Health Department offers specimen collection for COVID-19 testing in north and south Tulsa to provide convenient access for community residents. There is no cost for testing, and it’s easy to quickly make an appointment. Results are received within three business days. Call the Tulsa Health Department at (918) 582-9355 to make an appointment or to speak to a public health professional about COVID-19. A list of other testing sites in the community is available here.

Safety Plan Review

The Tulsa Health Department continues to provide recommendations to local public and private schools, universities, local events and venues, restaurants, community organizations and faith groups as requested.

Businesses can submit their COVID-19 safety plan for review and recommendations to covid19plans@tulsa-health.org. THD will review and provide recommendations, where necessary, in a timely manner.

Data Overview

For the week of August 23-29, Tulsa County saw a 4.36 percent decrease in cases.  There was a remarkable decrease in hospital admissions, which decreased by 32 percent compared to the previous week. The minimum age of those hospitalized continues to increase, and for the second week in a row there were no children hospitalized with COVID-19. However, infections in the 0-4 age group are increasing, and 9.4 percent of infections are in those age 17 or younger. The age group 18 - 35 continues to be the largest age group for infections, followed by 36 – 49. For cases that were associated with a high risk setting, long term care and nursing homes had the most cases, followed by cases within schools and food service employees. The City of Tulsa accounts for 66 percent of all Tulsa County infections. The portion of Broken Arrow that is in Tulsa County accounts for 15 percent of all infections. All other municipalities each represented less than 5 percent of infections.

The Tulsa Health Department publishes a weekly heat map of cases available at www.tulsa-health.org/COVID just below the case data dashboard. The dashboard is updated daily.

To date, the Tulsa Health Department (THD) has confirmed 13,742 positive COVID-19 cases in Tulsa County. 12,102 residents have recovered and 136 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/COVID-19.

Labor Day Weekend Safety

In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Hosting or attending a gathering is not recommended while the virus is widespread in the community. The Tulsa Health Department encourages Tulsa County residents who choose to go to any gathering or setting where people are in close contact with one another to take precautions such as wearing a mask, practice social distancing and frequently wash hands. Those who have attended a large indoor or outdoor gathering should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after the event and seek testing within 5-7 days while continuing to monitor symptoms, social distance, wash hands and wear a face covering in public.

The Tulsa Health Department will be closed on Monday, Sept. 7 in observance of Labor Day. The COVID-19 phone bank and testing appointments will be closed as well. Epidemiological investigations, including case notification and contact tracing, will continue to rapidly respond to confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community.

Tulsa Parks Student Support Camps

Tulsa Parks Student Support Camps start next week. To date, one community center is almost full, and four others have one to two pods filled up. A $25 registration fee per week, per child is required to secure your child’s spot. Camps are open to first through sixth graders, with pod-style areas setup at each community center to ensure you child can safely carry out their distance learning responsibilities.

To register and get more information , visit www.cityoftulsa.org/camps.

Tulsa County Update

The Tulsa County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a second $3 million installment of funding for the Tulsa Housing Authority (THA) rental assistance program on Monday after receiving more than $2.3 million worth of applications during the program’s first week. The rental assistance program opened for applications on Monday, Aug. 24, and within the first hours, renters applied for more than $370,000 of relief. Through the first 48 hours, 1,152 applications totaled $1.59 million in requests. The average amount requested was $1,408.87.

Among applicants, 917 indicated they had been laid off or had a reduction in hours due to the pandemic.

In addition to THA funding, the BOCC approved $2.29 million to 65 small businesses and nonprofits through the Tulsa County CARES RESET (Resources to Empower Small Enterprises for Tomorrow) program. Tulsa County CARES, THA’s rental assistance and the RESET programs continue to accept respective applications from local governments, agencies, renters, nonprofit service providers and small businesses. For more information about RESET and other Tulsa County CARES programs, visit www.tulsacounty.org.

The BOCC also approved an agreement between Tulsa County and A Way Home for Tulsa Continuum of Care to use the County’s former Juvenile Detention Center, currently unused, in response to the pandemic’s effect on Tulsa County’s indigent population. The agreement will allow A Way Home to provide an adequate, safe and socially distanced shelter for the homeless in Tulsa County starting in early September. The agreement is temporary and not a long-term solution for Tulsa County’s homeless population needs.

2020 Census Updates

An accurate Census count is critical to the State of Oklahoma and Tulsa County’s Federal funding and grant funding. Due to COVID-19 impacts, the 2020 Census is more important than ever in determining how much money the Tulsa area gets in funding for healthcare, education and critical infrastructure projects. 

To date, Tulsa County’s response rate is 65.7 percent, including a 1.9 percent increase since Census workers started knocking on doors as a part of their non-response follow-up efforts. 

If you haven’t, yet, fill out the Census at www.2020Census.gov. The Census will not ask for your social security number or your citizenship status. All Census data collection efforts will end on Sept. 30, 2020.


Translation Assistance

The City’s website, www.cityoftulsa.org,  has a tool to help with translation assistance for any page. Website visitors can click the drop down menu on any page that says, “Select Language,” and choose from one of more than 100 different languages.