Updated April 22, 2020.

The number of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Oklahoma climbed by six, to 170, on Wednesday, surpassing the death toll from the Oklahoma City bombing just over 25 years ago.

More than half of the coronavirus-related deaths have occurred in five counties – Tulsa, Cleveland, Oklahoma, Wagoner and Washington. More than 80% percent of people who have died were aged 65 or older, and as of Tuesday, more than a third had lived or worked in nursing homes.

Oklahoma’s total number of confirmed infections from COVID-19 rose by 3% Wednesday, to 2,894.

Oklahoma now ranks No. 22 among states in deaths per 100,000 people, as of Wednesday morning. The state had 4.2 deaths per 100,000 population, compared with 76 deaths for New York and 53.5 deaths for New Jersey.

State officials are considering a gradual easing of restrictions to allow more businesses to open and to lessen the economic damage of the pandemic. Recently, Oklahoma drew national attention for commemorating the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. The response to that domestic terroristic act, in which 168 were killed, has become a symbol of resilience and caring for many in the state and has been referred to in marshaling efforts to confront the pandemic.

Discussions about reopening business and public activities have arisen from recent trends. Oklahoma’s number of new, confirmed daily cases of COVID-19 has been flat for several days, based on a seven-day rolling average. The rolling average of new cases peaked at 129.6 on April 7 and was 90.1 on Wednesday.

However, the state’s death toll took a turn upward this week. Oklahoma had recorded a seven-day rolling average of 6.3 on April 15, but that rolling average hit 6.7 on Wednesday. Health officials have been bracing for a surge.

Positive coronavirus cases have been confirmed in 69 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, as of Tuesday.

Here’s how the numbers break down overall and in certain demographic categories:

Oklahoma Test Results
(as of April 22, 2020)
Number of Tests
Positive (in-state)2,894
Negative specimens (cumulative, April 10)43,019
Hospitalized (currently)298
Hospitalized (cumulative)608

Oklahoma Watch staff members Paul Monies, Trevor Brown and David Fritze contributed to this report.

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