Oklahoma now leads the nation as a whole in Covid-19 numbers as the state’s virus numbers are trending upwards for the first time since June of 2020 when the virus began taking off before starting a downward trend in January, 2021.

While the country’s cases are up .1%, according to Johns Hopkins University, as of July 7, 2021, the state’s new cases are up .4%, adding 1,715 new cases in the last week, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. 141 people have been admitted to hospitals over the last week and 18 more people have died in Oklahoma over the last week due to complications from Covid-19.

All indications are that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is largely responsible for new cases, and which is hitting harder in rural areas with low vaccination levels and political dispositions toward vaccines or the virus as a whole. Additionally, health providers are seeing an increase of young people infected with the virus and requiring hospitalization.  The 18-35 group now accounts for 31.58% of total Oklahoma cases, followed by the 36-49 bunch responsible for 21.53% of total cases, and the 50-64 demographic right behind them at 19.37% cases.

Locally, Cushing has had 1,419 cases with 22 deaths. Drumright has had 333 cases with 10 deaths. Perkins has 583 cases with 5 deaths. Stillwater has had 6,246 cases with 40 deaths. Yale has had 220 cases with 8 deaths.

Why The Delta Variant Is Dangerous

According to the World Health Organization, the Delta variant is of extreme concern. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove illustrates some if its challenging qualities. Kerkhove says, “It really takes off and spreads between people more efficiently than even the Alpha variant that was first detected around December, January, 2021”

Dr. Kerkhove also explains that our increased social mixing is causing more people to interact which in turn spreads the virus. Additionally, she points out that people are exhausted with public health measures, or don’t take them seriously, which is causing more cases. Uneven acceptance or access to vaccines is also a contributing factor to the rise in cases worldwide of the Delta variant of Covid-19. “Knowing your risk helps you to take the measures to lower your risk every single day,” Kerkhove emphasizes.

Missouri is currently experiencing 1,000 cases a day of Covid-19, mostly related to the Delta variant and unvaccinated people. Of course, Oklahoma borders Missouri and traffic between the two states is common and vast. Already in Oklahoma, and Payne County specifically, local health professionals are seeing an uptick of cases, especially among younger people.