Wednesday, January 05, 2022

State Health Dep't extends COVID testing hours; lab shows omicron topping delta for circulating variants


OSDH extends COVID-19 testing hours at local health departments
Extended hours, including weekends, available

OKLAHOMA CITY – With COVID-19 testing in higher demand and increased cases over the last week, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is extending COVID-19 testing hours at local county health departments, and will offer weekend availability at select locations. Additionally, mobile units will be deployed to various locations throughout the state.  

Testing locations and hours can be found by visiting oklahoma.gov/covid19/testing-sites or county health department Facebook pages. Oklahomans can also call their local county health department or 2-1-1 for hours and locations.  

“While at-home testing is convenient, and rapid testing provides an immediate result, it is important to remember PCR tests provide the most accurate results, allow for variant sequencing and the ability to contact trace,” stated Jolianne Stone, Oklahoma state epidemiologist. “PCR test results are typically available within 24-48 hours and are highly encouraged for accurate testing.” 

PCR test results are reported to OSDH, automatically entering the result into the OSDHCI self-service case investigation system. This system allows Oklahomans to do their own contact tracing through an automated process. Public health workers are still available to assist as needed. 

“Like other states, Oklahoma is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, however many other respiratory illnesses are occurring as well,” stated Keith Reed, interim commissioner of health. “We highly encourage anyone who is feeling ill to stay home from work, school and other activities and schedule a COVID-19 test or appointment with their physician. Staying home while awaiting your appointment, results and for your symptoms to clear is important for your health and will help prevent the spread of illness.” 

COVID-19 variants in Oklahoma mix of omicron and delta
Surveillance shows 57% omicron and 43% delta 

OKLAHOMA CITY –Variant sequencing at the OSDH Public Health (PHL) lab of most recent specimens from over the holidays shows a mix of omicron (57%) and delta (43%). This surveillance data is important to providers and the public to understand what is going on in the state.  

“Our team continues to monitor cases and hospitalizations to provide critical data that allows Oklahomans to make the best decisions for themselves,” stated Keith Reed, interim commissioner of health. “Coinciding with our increased case count and what other states are seeing, current data shows omicron is increasing in Oklahoma, and we anticipate that will continue.” 

Variant sequencing continues to be conducted on all positive COVID-19 tests provided to the PHL. This full sequencing process can take up to four days for completion. 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at Oklahoma.gov/health

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