OKLAHOMA CITY –The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is starting its move toward the endemic phase of the pandemic. Throughout the transition there will be gradual changes to how and when OSDH reports some of its data.
Starting this week, OSDH will discontinue its daily situation updates that monitor the daily case counts. Instead, the OSDH will release data on Thursdays. The weekly report will provide an average based on weekly accumulations.
The weekly epidemiology report will continue and will also be released on Thursdays.
During the omicron surge, it became increasingly evident that the daily case count number was many days delayed and at best only represented a portion of what we knew must be the true current case count numbers. Many factors contributed to that, including lags in laboratory reporting, at-home testing, asymptomatic cases and those who may feel sick and choose not to get tested.
“Adjusting data reporting will be an evolving process that ensures we are monitoring key data in Oklahoma and across the country to best prepare for possible surges,” said Keith Reed, interim commissioner of health. “I want to reassure Oklahomans that we will continue to be vigilant when it comes to COVID-19 and the safety of all the communities we serve.”
This change will allow the OSDH to focus on key metrics that more accurately represent the impact of disease in the community, like hospitalizations. This is a trend evident in recent CDC reporting changes focusing on community levels of COVID.
Though the OSDH is changing reporting cadences much of the data that have been at Oklahoman’s disposal during the course of the pandemic will remain, including zip code level data. As we begin moving toward the endemic phase of the pandemic, the OSDH stands well equipped to battle future possible surges and if seen fit can bring back daily data reports.