State health officials: Vaccination is the key to returning to normal life

State health officials provided an update Friday on Oklahoma’s situation as COVID-19 case counts creep up and the more easily transmitted Delta variant becomes the predominant form of the virus.

A band of states with elevated infection levels stretches across the center of the country and into the deep South.

Oklahoma’s neighboring states Missouri and Arkansas had elevated daily case counts over the past 60 days, according to the Mayo Clinic, with Missouri leading the nation in average daily cases and cases per 100,000 in population.

Oklahoma is at a lower, but still elevated level, with an average of six cases per 100,000.

The need to avoid complacency and battle “COVID fatigue” was a theme Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health Col. Lance Frye returned to again and again during the briefing.

“I know everyone is burned out and wants to enjoy their summer,” he said.

But the best way to do that and stay safe is to get vaccinated, he repeatedly said. People who choose not to vaccinate should use other mitigation strategies like wearing masks when around other people and choosing outdoor venues with good air circulation if they’re going to gather.

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