Monday was the first day the Oklahoma State Department of Health switched to a new reporting system for COVID-19.
State health officials have said this is one of their steps out of the pandemic response.
The new system now houses everything related to COVID-19 in the state. It contains cases, deaths, case investigations, contact tracing and more.
This has also been added to their new contact tracing program. So now if someone has received a positive COVID-19 test, they will receive an SMS from OSDH to do their own contact tracing and answer questions.
OSDH officials have so far said things have gone well since they changed on Monday.
“When it comes to reporting deaths and deaths associated with reported cases,” said Jolianne Stone, state epidemiologist. “It’s also hosted in this one, so it’s the new systems that are going to house all of our COVID data. “
Stone said that with the new system, the Oklahomans will be notified more quickly of a positive test result.
“It actually takes lab results that have been reported to us from hospitals,” Stone said. “Clinics and labs and entry into the system. As soon as it hits that system, individuals would be notified by SMS.”
Stone shared what the texts will look like so people know it’s not a scam.
Stone said OSDH sent out 400 messages on day one with the new system.
“So far we’ve had some good responses that we can monitor in our system,” Stone said.
If someone can’t or would rather not do the contact tracing through a smartphone, a department contact tracer will do it over the phone.
Coming out of the pandemic, Stone said they hoped it would allow for a more streamlined process in investigating cases and housing vital condition data on COVID.
“This allows us to track what might be happening and certain risk factors so that we can continue to provide the best direction for the Oklahomans,” Stone said.