Oklahoma to begin including ’probable’ COVID-19 cases in public reports

VIDEO: Probable cases to now be reported in Oklahoma covid reports

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma State Department of Health is expected to change the way it reports COVID-19 cases, according to an email obtained by FOX23 partner KRMG on Wednesday.

The email addressed to county commissioners on Aug. 28 in Oklahoma said that OSDH will be reporting an increase in the virus numbers in most counties as the report will include “probable COVID cases in addition to actual positive cases as confirmed by test results.”

In reporting its COVID-19 numbers, the State of Oklahoma has not included “probable” cases.

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Probable cases have been determined by the rapid, antigen tests but not included in the regular case count until Tuesday, Sept. 8.

OSDH says they’re making the change to recognize the importance of antigen testing, improve transparency and reduce public confusion.

The email forwarded to KRMG read in part:

“Just to let you know over the next week, the OSDH website will be reporting an increase in the COVID numbers in most counties due to the report will be including ‘probable’ COVID cases in addition to actual positive cases as confirmed by test results. This will increase local county Covid numbers overnight. However these cases may be cases which date as far as March. However, since the increase will appear overnight and may cause your community some concern and some questions for you, I just wanted you to be aware.”
Maria Alexander, Regional Director for the Craig, Delaware, Nowata, Mayes, Ottawa, Rogers, Washington, and Wagoner County Health Departments.

Another change mentioned in the email is Oklahoma’s shift in the way it calculates the testing positivity rate for COVID-19.

“Soon Oklahoma will follow the methodology supported by the majority of other states by the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.”

The change would allow “equal comparisons” to be made between states. Oklahoma’s statistics according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine can be found here.