OSDH to begin including “probable” COVID-19 cases in its publicly released data

An email forwarded to KRMG by a listener was apparently sent to county commissioners across much of NE Oklahoma

TULSA — In reporting its COVID-19 numbers, the State of Oklahoma has not included “probable” cases, a situation that may change soon.

An email sent on Friday, August 28th to county commissioners across much of northeast Oklahoma indicates that the Oklahoma State Department of Health plans to include “probables” in its reporting, and indeed may back-fill the statistics to as early as March.

The email was sent to KRMG by a listener, and it reads 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.”

The email was sent by Maria Alexander, Regional Director for the Craig, Delaware, Nowata, Mayes, Ottawa, Rogers, Washington, and Wagoner County Health Departments.

KRMG forwarded of copy of that email to OSDH Manager of Communications and Media Relations Rob Crissinger.

He responded that “the information included in Maria’s email is accurate.”

He went on to say that OSDH will hold “an informal press gaggle” before any changes are implemented, and that “relevant OSDH experts will be available to walk you through the changes, explain things, and answer any questions.”

Crissinger indicated that the announcement could come as early as Friday, Sept. 2nd.

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