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OSDH Weekly Briefing Recap

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health held a media briefing today, Jan. 5, to provide updates on the state’s response to COVID-19.

Below, please see highlights from the discussion. A recording of the briefing can be found here.


  • We’re keeping a close eye on 7-day case averages, hospitalizations and other metrics that can tell us how the Omicron variant is behaving in our state.
    • Like other states, Oklahoma is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases because the Omicron variant spreads more easily than the original COVID-19 virus.
    • While hospitalizations are increasing, the increase is not proportionate to cases as we have seen in previous surges — indicating that the Omicron variant may be less likely to cause severe illness that would require hospitalization.
  • Vaccines remain our best tool to protect against severe illness from COVID-19, regardless of current variants.
    • Now is the best time to get your booster dose or first vaccine series if you are eligible and haven’t done so yet.
    • We are using tools that we know work — the COVID-19 vaccine, testing, treatments, surveillance tools and mitigation methods like the 3 W’s.
  • As we see a rise in cases, we have increased access to testing through expanded hours, including some weekend hours, and additional sites around the state.
    • OSDH will also deploy mobile testing sites in certain locations around the state.
    • We are working to provide testing in an environment where people can avoid going to emergency rooms just to receive a test.
  • Testing can help you keep your loved ones safe from severe illness.
    • If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, we recommend you stay home from work, school and other activities and schedule a COVID-19 test or appointment with your healthcare provider.
    • PCR tests are typically available within 24-48 hours, and provide the most accurate results, allow for variant sequencing and give us the ability to contact trace. We recommend getting a PCR test for the most accurate results.
  • Monoclonal antibodies and antiviral oral treatments are available in limited quantities in Oklahoma.
    • As with other states, Oklahoma’s recent allocation of monoclonal antibodies has been insufficient to assure adequate supply moving forward.
      • OSDH is actively pursuing all measures with our federal partners to increase our allocations, but as it stands now, the current supply in the state along with expected deliveries from the next cycle allocations are anticipated to be depleted this month.
      • These treatments can be accessed with a recommendation from a healthcare provider.
      • You can view a map of treatment locations here.
    • Antiviral pills to treat COVID-19 in patients at high risk for progressing to severe cases were recently authorized by the FDA under emergency use authorization.
      • These treatments are in-market and available in very limited numbers to those who obtain a prescription from their healthcare provider.
    • Monoclonal antibody and antiviral treatments help reduce progression to severe disease in high risk patients who have already contracted COVID-19.
      • The vaccine is still the best way to prevent COVID-19, but these treatments are helpful to lessen symptoms for people who are at high risk.


Last Modified on Mar 07, 2022
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