The Tulsa Health Department’s ZIP code map has shown a decrease in COVID-19’s presence the past three weeks, but overall the risk remains high.
Twelve of 42 ZIP codes remained in the “extreme severe risk” of COVID-19 spread, down from 36 at its peak on Jan. 15. The Health Department’s Friday update showed 22 in red for “severe” and eight in orange, the most ZIP codes at “high” risk since there were 18 on Nov. 13.
COVID-19 became so prevalent in Tulsa County, the Tulsa Health Department on Dec. 4 added the dark red “extreme severe risk” category, with Executive Director Bruce Dart saying spread was “out of control.”
Dart in a Thursday virtual news conference said more than 10% of Tulsa County’s population had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of that day.
“If the current slowing trend continues, it will take about two weeks before we reach 11% of the population of Tulsa County testing positive,” Dart said.
The Health Department’s ZIP code map uses 14-day averages of active cases per capita, based on Johns Hopkins University methodology. The interactive map is updated online on Fridays at tulsa-health.org.
The dark red is divided into three levels. One ZIP code was in the worst level, six were in the middle level and five were in the dark red’s entry level.
THD’s guidance for dark red ZIP codes is to stay at home because there is “extremely severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19,” with outbreaks worsening, and testing and contract tracing capacity “strained or exceeded.”
The guidance is similar for the red threshold. The red suggests staying home except for most essential needs like groceries or medicine, whereas dark red urges uses curbside delivery for food or medical supplies.