THD Public Health Emergency Preparedness Update - Dec 4

Published: 12/04/2020, 6:00 PM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(TULSA, Okla.) To date, the Tulsa Health Department (THD) has confirmed 35,243 positive COVID-19 cases in Tulsa County. 30,416 residents have recovered and 284 have lost their lives. Data and trends are updated at The dashboard is updated daily including weekends. The Tulsa Health Department zip code map is updated every Friday. The map was created to reflect the daily active case rate per 1,000 residents. Friday, the Tulsa Health Department updated the COVID-19 zip code map for Tulsa County with an expanded color system and new guidance residents within “extremely severe risk” zip codes. The thresholds are based on Johns Hopkins metrics for understanding the reach and severity of risk. “THD created this map so that Tulsa County residents can learn about the risk level for each zip code in our community, and receive clear, fact-based guidance to stay safe according to the current level. When we realized that several zip codes were double or even triple the rate for the red level, we recognized the need to expand the color system to more clearly illustrate the severity of the spread of the virus,” said THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. Under the new system, there are now four shades of red to delineate the risk. The three darkest shades of red are designated as extremely severe risk. Currently, 35 out of 42 Tulsa County zip codes are designated as severe or extremely severe risk. Residents are encouraged to stay home unless they are essential personnel traveling for work or to acquire medical care or food. Residents in extremely high-risk zip codes are urged to work from home if possible and utilize curbside pick-up or contactless delivery for restaurants, grocery shopping, medical supplies and holiday shopping. “Our mission is to protect the health and well-being of everyone in our community. It is imperative that we take an effective, fact-based approach to stopping this pandemic. The three W’s - wearing a mask, watching your distance and washing your hands – continue to remain paramount to keep ourselves and those we care about safe. As you make your holiday plans, consider the severity within your own zip code and follow the public health guidelines to stay safe,” said Dr. Dart. Options to Reduce Quarantine CDC and other scientists have explored changing the current recommendation to quarantine for 14 days after last exposure. Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing economic hardship if they cannot work during this time. In addition, a shorter quarantine period can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising. The CDC suggested local public health authorities can make the final decision about how long quarantine should last in the communities they serve, based on local conditions and needs. The Oklahoma State Department of Health has adapted this new guidance statewide effective December 2, 2020. Based on this new guidance and local availability of viral testing, for people without symptoms quarantine can end: On day 10 without testing On day 7 after receiving a negative test result from a test taken on day 5 or later After stopping quarantine, people should: Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure. If they have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health authority or healthcare provider. CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed. See Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing for guidance on options to reduce quarantine. We understand this may be confusing, so if you have questions, please call and speak to a public health professional at 918-582-9355 for personalized guidance. COVID-19 Vaccine Safety While getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection or immunity, the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will help protect you without having to be sick. As news surrounding COVID-19 vaccine trials circulate, it’s crucial to stay informed and not to speculate. Learn about the science-based benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination so you’ll be ready when a vaccine is recommended for you: As part of the preparation process for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) required each state to put together a comprehensive plan defining what the implementation of the new vaccine will look like for their territory. The CDC reviewed and approved Oklahoma’s plan last month and our state has been in constant contact with CDC to finalize plans for distribution of the vaccine since then. This plan will help protect our essential workers and vulnerable populations and ensure they’re able to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. Testing If you want to be tested, the Tulsa Health Department will test you. We do not charge for COVID-19 testing. Tulsa Health Department conducts specimen collection for testing by appointment only; same- or next-day appointments available. Location and appointment time varies by day. Instructions for services will be provided at the time the appointment is made. Call the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-9355 to set up an appointment or schedule online. It’s important to remember, if you are being tested for COVID-19, you should self-isolate while waiting on your test results; especially if you have been exposed or concerned that you may have COVID-19. If you were exposed to a known positive case and you test negative, it is still important to stay home for the full duration of your 14-day quarantine as the virus can develop 2-14 days after exposure. Tulsa City Council Passes Additional COVID-19 Measures; Tulsa Health Department to Enforce New Ordinances On November 24, the Tulsa City Council passed additional COVID-19 measures, which: Require a COVID-19 Safety Plan for events of 150 people or more (previously 500) – safety plans must be submitted to the Tulsa Health Department (THD) 14 calendar days before the event Give THD authority to enforce the City’s COVID-19 ordinances in places of public accommodation, public settings, restaurants and bars – City code enforcement will assist Require separation or distance provisions in use at restaurants, bars and other places of public accommodation and public settings Require entities to consistently make adequate efforts to have patrons and attendees comply with face covering requirements and to implement a sanitation protocol to protect employees and customers THD will work with entities of public accommodation to ensure compliance with City ordinances. Businesses that do not take measures to comply with face covering, social distance, separation, or event requirements can be declared a public nuisance and will be subject to abatement and penalties. The mask ordinance in the City remains the same. These newly passed ordinances build upon the City’s existing mask mandate, which requires a mask for all persons 10 years old and older in public settings and in places of public accommodation. To report non-compliance with existing City ordinances regarding COVID-19 measures, visit Residents should only call 911 for life-threatening emergencies. Updated ordinances will be made available at Additionally, a detailed list of FAQs and background on places of public accommodation will also be made available on that webpage. “I appreciate the City of Tulsa’s efforts to strengthen existing ordinances to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community, particularly our most vulnerable,” THD Executive Director Dr. Dart said. “The Tulsa Health Department remains committed to protecting the health and well-being of Tulsa County residents as well. Just as THD staff inspect local food establishments to ensure they are operating safely to prevent foodborne illnesses; our staff will now also help local businesses keep their employees and customers safe.” When you leave your house for work, to run errands, or for any other reason, you have a chance of being exposed to COVID-19 and bringing it back to your home.
The chances of being exposed increase when you Have close contact with other people (closer than 6 feet) Spend more time with other people Spend time in crowds (more than 10 people) Spend time in indoor spaces, particularly if poorly ventilated Keep COVID-19 outside your home! When around people who don’t live in your home, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay at least 6 feet apart to protect yourself and prevent bringing COVID-19 into your home. Donations Accepted Corporate, industrial or medical partners wishing to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may email At this time, we are unable to accept donations from private households or individuals due to quality control issues and potential contamination. Items collected will be distributed to the Regional Medical Response System. Hotline Hours Anyone with questions, concerns or seeking COVID-19 testing can call 918-582-9355 during normal business hours to speak with a public health professional. 211 is a community resource for questions outside of normal business hours. OSDH Website Tulsa’s civil order will be enforced by the Tulsa Police and THD – Complaints regarding social gatherings and bars should be made to TPD Non-Emergency, (918) 596-9222 or 311. Complaints regarding other businesses should be made to THD or the City at (918) 595-4200 or 311.


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