Over the entire month of March, while testing at among the lowest rates in the country, Oklahoma officials identified 565 cases of coronavirus.
On April 1, following the arrival of enough chemicals to process 10,000 tests, the state changed its approach dramatically. The state went from six test sites to 14. It dropped the requirement that patients be of a “vulnerable population.” No longer did it take a doctor’s permission to get tested. Any adult with symptoms would qualify.
Oklahoma’s total shot to 988 in just three days. And still the state’s testing rate remained stubbornly low compared to some parts of the country.
Just how low was unclear Monday as officials announced that estimates of testing levels as of last week were massively undercounted.
Oklahoma’s experience highlights some fundamental facts to emerge from last week’s surge in coronavirus testing nationally: more testing makes a huge difference; the advent of