CommunityCORONAVIRUS CRISISGovernment

Health Department Stops Sharing Local Covid-19 Data

Wilson Homes

June1, 2020 —In a surprise announcement, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced it would no longer provide city and zip code date on Covid-19 cases.

As of the last report, Luther had three confirmed cases, one recovered.

The state also has ceased to provide data on long term care and nursing home facility cases of Covid-19.

Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 3 Luther Pecan Festival

The news release said said the decision was due to the State’s Catastrophic Emergency Declaration expiring on May 31, 2020. 

OSDH’s new Director of Communications Kristen Davis said in the news release the “core purpose of the emergency declaration is no longer needed.”

“Governor Kevin Stitt and (State Health) Commissioner Lance Frye continue their shared commitment to transparency and availability of critical COVID-19 data. They have tasked the State’s legal experts to explore other options for providing critical health data that would support all stakeholders’ decision making during the presence of COVID-19, while also safeguarding Oklahomans’ protected health information,” said Davis.  

The release said the Legislature first granted the Governor’s request for a Catastrophic Emergency Health declaration on April 7, and the declaration was later extended until the end of May. Under the declaration, the Governor was able to redirect state agency resources and state employee efforts to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and was able to activate the Oklahoma National Guard. During this period, the Governor also waived statutory requirements to allow for more granular reporting of COVID-19 data to support rapid decision making at local levels on the response to COVID-19.  

The “granular reporting” listed confirmed Covid-19 cases per zip code and city, with no other identifying information except whether the person had recovered or was deceased.

That data by city and zip code is gone as of June 1.

Other resources remain.

Current Numbers, Monday June 1, 2020

  • As of this advisory, there are 6,573 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. 
  • There are no additional deaths.
  • There are 334 total deaths in the state.
  • The OSDH announced today that its COVID-19 data tracker, located at coronavirus.health.ok.gov, will continue reporting active and recovered COVID-19 cases by county only, as permitted by State law, and the agency will no longer be able to publish COVID-19 data by city, zip code, or by long-term care and nursing home facility due to the State’s Catastrophic Emergency Declaration expiring on May 31, 2020. For more information on this change, please click here.
  • COVID-19 testing sites are open in multiple cities in Oklahoma as a result of a cross-county, city and state health system partnership. Visit this page for updated dates and locations.
  • For more information, visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov.

Kimberly K Miller
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