Stitt said remdesivir is starting to show promising signs of helping people and lessens the effects of COVID-19 for the most severely infected hospitalized patients. Remdesivir, an antiviral drug, was granted an emergency use authorization in May after trial data showed it helped shorten hospital recovery time for COVID-19 patients by 31%.
The Department of Health and Human Services last week said U.S. hospitals have turned down about a third of their allocated supplies of remdesivir since July as need has waned for the drug, which costs $3,120 for a six-vial course. Government-led distribution of remdesivir expires this month.
Dr. Mousumi Som of OSU Medicine on Thursday noted that when used in concert with a rheumatoid arthritis drug, baricitinib, remdesivir can cut median recovery time by an additional day.
Stitt on Thursday noted an ample supply of the drug in Oklahoma after the state received 810 vials this week and 300 to come next week from HHS.
In April, 25% of active cases were hospitalized patients, Stitt said in noting "positive trends" in hospitalizations since then. He said that was less than 10% for August, and in the past three weeks less than 5% of active cases required hospitalization.
Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye said the average hospital stay for a COVID-19 patient has been, since July, about five days.
Frye and Stitt continued to oppose a statewide mask mandate, saying the issue is better left to local leaders and is challenging to enforce.
Stitt also continued to oppose the idea of a second federal stimulus as the pandemic continues, joking that "free money" is always welcome, but as a taxpaying American, he worried about the national debt.
Gallery: COVID-19 basics
How it spreads, who's at risk
Science of virus spread
List of symptoms
Kinds of testing
The 'serious seven'
Treatments being investigated
Convalescent serum therapy
Recovery, as defined by CDC
Join a growing group of Oklahomans who believe in supporting local journalism
An attorney for an Oklahoma death-row inmate testified Wednesday that he has found new potential witnesses who might be able to help his client's case but who would be prevented from testifying by a state law because his client's appeals have been exhausted.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health weekly executive order report indicates that cases have risen by 15% and deaths surged by 16% since Oct. 9. Over the last 14 days, Oklahoma has seen deaths spike by 24% and cases increase by 17%.
Warren Hamilton, the Republican candidate running for the Oklahoma District 7 state Senate seat, said he disagreed with the newspaper requiring masks to follow a city ordinance and to help slow community spread of COVID-19.
Amid the swirling mayhem of 2020, Republican incumbent Kevin Hern and Democratic challenger Kojo Asamoa-Caesar have quietly gone about the business of trying to beat each other in the 1st Congressional District.