The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced today the State has surpassed its goal to collect and test more than 90,000 specimens in the month of May. As of Wednesday, May 27, OSDH had processed 113,264 specimens collected for COVID-19 testing since the first of the month, with a total of 183,632 tests conducted since COVID-19 was first detected in early March.
OSDH published the latest numbers yesterday in its Executive Order COVID-19 Report to Governor Kevin Stitt and demonstrated that as COVID-19 testing increased over the month of May, the percentage of positive cases dropped to a record low of 3.8% in Oklahoma.
“Testing is paramount to controlling the spread of COVID-19,” Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, MD said. “Reaching this goal is only a starting point in the strategy for Oklahoma. In order to increase progress on minimizing the spread of COVID-19, we will continue to expand testing accessibility, increase contact tracing efforts and encourage Oklahomans to remain steadfast by continuing to follow State and CDC guidelines.”
The State of Oklahoma was able to achieve its testing goal due to more than 80 OSDH county health departments’ testing locations, alongside Oklahoma City-County Health Department and Tulsa Health Department, as well as the State’s testing strategy with long-term care facilities as well as state prisons. This led to an average of 4,324 tests conducted daily.
“Teamwork across State agencies and the trust and support of Oklahomans allowed us to reach this critical milestone and quadruple COVID-19 testing in the month of May,” Governor Kevin Stitt said. “Oklahomans prove time and again that our State is a standard bearer in how to come together in times of crisis and take care of our communities. It is very important we maintain this momentum to minimize the presence of COVID-19. We need Oklahomans to continue to seek out testing, to work with the Health Department’s contact tracers and medical experts, and to be personally responsible with washing hands and physical distancing.”
OSDH highly encourages Oklahomans to get tested for COVID-19. Due to sufficient COVID-19 testing supplies, Oklahomans no longer need to exhibit symptoms or to have been exposed to someone who tested positive. Regional COVID-19 testing sites are open in multiple cities in Oklahoma as a result of a cross-county, city and state health system partnership, and Oklahomans can find a free testing location in their community by visiting: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/testing-sites.