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Oklahoma State Department of Health Launches Color-Coded COVID-19 Alert System

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 9, 2020) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) today launched a new COVID-19 alert system that offers the public and local elected officials a clear method to recognize and communicate the current COVID-19 risk level in each county and to guide health behaviors.

The Oklahoma COVID-19 Alert System is a four-tiered risk measurement tool with corresponding color categories that identify the current COVID-19 risk level by county.

“This new COVID-19 alert system marries OSDH’s robust data reporting with additional public health steps that should be considered county by county to confront elevated risks of community spread,” said Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, M.D. “The color-coded system is an easy way for business owners, local leaders, and the public to know at a glance when extra precautions should be taken.”

Each color category is based on daily new cases per 100,000 population. The color-coded county map will be updated every Friday as part of the agency’s 11 a.m. Situation Media Advisory and will be based on the 7-day rolling average:

  • Green: 0 < 1.43 daily new cases per 100,000 population
  • Yellow: 43 < 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 population
  • Orange: > 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 population
  • Red: > 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 plus one of four additional gates triggered

OSDH will deem a county as in a high-risk phase if the county is reporting more than 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 and one or more of the four thresholds occur in the State within a given week.  

  • Statewide ICU threshold: Percent of ICU beds available <5% statewide
  • Statewide Medical/Surgical threshold: Percent of medical surgery beds available <5% statewide
  • Statewide Ventilator threshold: Percent of ventilators available <5% statewide
  • Facility PPE threshold: Average days of PPE on hand and available < 5 days statewide

The State will work with local officials in red counties on a remediation plan.

The red phase is triggered when additionally assessing statewide health system capacity definitions, assumptions and plans in the Oklahoma Hospital Surge Planning Toolkit and with assessing numbers based on hospitals’ bed capacity at 100%. This status indicates statewide, systemic challenges and pressures on the healthcare system resulting from COVID-19.

This new alert system is subject to further revisions. Guidance for each risk category is available for individuals, businesses, high-risk individuals, and children on the COVID-19 dashboard at coronavirus.health.ok.gov.