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New Oklahoma COVID-19 cases are down sharply in recent weeks

February 9, 2022 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma has fallen sharply in recent weeks, and hospitalizations are also decreasing, state health officials said Wednesday while adding words of caution as the pandemic continues.

The seven-day average number of new cases stood at 2,363, down from an average of near 12,000 in late January when the omicron variant of COVID-19 surged, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Interim state Health Commissioner Keith Reed called the decline dramatic, but he said the numbers are expected to level off.

“I think that’s just an artificial decrease because of the winter weather we had last week,” Reed said.

The winter storm that stretched from Texas to Maine brought snow and frigid temperatures to Oklahoma, causing many people to remain home and untested for the virus, Reed said.

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The number of virus cases is believed to be higher than reported, mainly because of the availability and results of home tests not reported to health officials.

The health department reported the 3-day average number of hospitalizations stood at 1,682, down from an average of more than 2,000 per day on Feb. 1.

Meantime, the state’s pandemic total of confirmed cases topped 1 million at 1,000,480, according to the health department.