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OSDH Weekly Briefing Recap

Thursday, September 09, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health held a media briefing today, September 9, 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.


  • OSDH is working together with our state’s hospital systems to decrease discrepancies in reporting and provide flexibility and support during the COVID-19 surge.
    • There are some discrepancies in what our hospitals are experiencing on the ground and the reported data on hospital capacity.
      • The data OSDH pulls from HHS is a point in time, retrospective number. Depending on what time of day this data is pulled, it can vary.
      • It is also dependent on the accuracy and timeliness of the data and who is entering it in the system.
      • Patient care also takes precedence over data reporting, which can lead to further discrepancies.
      • For these reasons, there will likely always be some discrepancy between the hospitals’ reported numbers to HHS that OSDH shares, and the hospitals’ reported numbers in their own reports.
    • We are working together with hospital leadership to lower this reporting discrepancy as much as we can.
    • COVID-19 is putting a strain on our hospital system that not only affects COVID-19 patients, but other patients who are in need of beds in emergency situations.
    • The best way to combat and overcome these challenges is for every eligible Oklahoman to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine significantly reduces the chance that you will have a severe case or require hospitalization because of COVID-19.
  • The Mu variant is present in Oklahoma, but is not yet classified by the CDC and is not as common right now as other variants, like the Delta variant.
    • This variant, while not yet classified by the CDC, has been designated as a “Variant of Interest” by WHO because of preliminary evidence it can evade antibodies.
      • We still need more clinical data to support that conclusion, and right now we’re finding that vaccines are still largely effective against variants with similar characteristics.
    • Public health actions recommended in response to a Variant of Interest can include sequence surveillance and epidemiological investigations, which is what OSDH is doing right now to monitor variants in our state.
    • The CDC has not yet classified the Mu variant, and we’re still seeing that a majority of cases in Oklahoma and in the U.S. are attributable to the Delta variant.
      • OSDH follows CDC designations regarding variants of concern and variants of interest, and as such, we have not yet classified Mu.
    • There have been 13 isolates with the Mu variant in our state. Dates of collection range from 5/20/21 to 8/10/21.
    • Health officials in Oklahoma and across the country are carefully tracking this variant.
  • Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
    • As of today:
      • 3,924,708 total doses have been administered
      • 1,776,861 Oklahomans have completed the full series; this includes:
        • 44.9% of the total population
        • 55.9% of the adult population
        • 78.6% of the 65+ population
      • 2,152,077 Oklahomans have received at least 1 dose; this includes:
        • 54.4% of the total population
        • 67.2% of the adult population
        • 89.6% of the 65+ population


Last Modified on Jun 03, 2022