OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter ruled Monday that the Oklahoma State Department of Health could continue its release of COVID-19 data beyond county levels.
State attorneys will meet today to discuss the legal parameters for which data sets the agency can resume reporting, and we will provide an update as soon as information becomes available.
Lawyers for the health department and the governor’s office made a decision earlier this week to no longer release the data because of state medical privacy laws.
They claimed they were able to release the data under the Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act, which gave the governor the authority to suspend any state law that might hinder the response to a health emergency.
The Legislature opted late last month not to renew those powers for the governor.
“It is incumbent upon us as state leaders to protect sensitive health information,” OSDH Interim Commissioner Lance Frye said. “I encourage Oklahomans to use the information to make informed decisions in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The OSDH reports an additional three deaths, one occurring in the past 24 hours.
o Two in Tulsa County, one female in the 36-49 age group and one female in the 65 and older age group.
o One in Oklahoma County, a male in the 65 and older age group.
There are now 344 total deaths in Oklahoma.
As of Thursday’s report, there have been 6,907 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the state.
There have been 5,781 recoveries.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute will be offering free COVID-19 antibody testing for blood donors at a blood drive Tuesday, June 9 at Integris Miami Hospital.
The drive will run from noon to 6 p.m. at the Civic Center.
COVID-19 testing is open to everyone; people no longer need to exhibit symptoms to be tested.
Local test sites include the Ottawa County Health Department, 1930 North Elm (918-540-2481), Craig County Health Department, 115 East Delaware in Vinita (918-256-7531) and Delaware County Health Department, S. 9th Street, Jay (918-253-4511).
To learn more about COVID-19, call the COVID-19 call center at 877-215-8336 or 2-1-1 or visit https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/