Oklahoma's COVID-19 alert system will soon be seeing changes to how it determines each county risk level.
The alert system currently shows the risk level for each county on four different colors, green, yellow, orange and red. Health officials say these measurements aren't useful because they are based on hospital data statewide. Health officials say measurements need to be calculated using local hospital data to comply with the surge plan.
Currently, to be in the orange or red category, counties must average 14 or more positive cases per 100,000 people. For a county to move into the red risk level, outside factors outside of its control must occur. With the current system in place, a local hospital system could struggle, but because surrounding areas are doing fine, that given county would stay at the orange risk level.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health will now adjust the system in a more localized way to more accurately reflect what is happening on a county-by-county basis. A spokesperson from the Oklahoma State Department of Health had this to say:
“Utilizing regional hospital data will offer a clearer, more accurate picture of local hospital capacity and increase the value of the alert system for all Oklahoman's.”
It isn't clear when these changes will take effect, but the next COVID-19 alert map is scheduled to come out on Friday.
(Pictured is a Photo of last week's alert map.)