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Spread of coronavirus continues to increase in Oklahoma, South Carolina

Cheryl Bearce, a volunteer working the first tee, wears a mask as a precaution against the coronavirus, at the start the third round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament, Saturday, June 20, 2020, in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Cheryl Bearce, a volunteer working the first tee, wears a mask as a precaution against the coronavirus, at the start the third round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament, Saturday, June 20, 2020, in Hilton Head Island, S.C.(Gerry Broome | AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Published: Jun. 20, 2020 at 12:55 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY— Oklahoma has surpassed 10,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and the interim commissioner of the state’s Department of Health says a surge in infections was expected after the state began reopening in late April.

The health department on Saturday reported 331 new virus cases to bring the total number of confirmed cases to 10,037, with 368 deaths due to COVID-19. The actual number is likely higher because many people have not been tested.

A record 450 new cases of the virus was reported Thursday and more than 350 more were recorded Friday.

The new wave comes amid ongoing demonstrations to protest police killings of black citizens and a rally planned for Saturday by U.S. President Donald Trump at a 19,000-seat indoor arena in Tulsa.

Tulsa County has both the most confirmed cases and virus-related deaths in Oklahoma.

Tulsa Health Department director Bruce Dart has said he would like to see the rally postponed, noting that large indoor gatherings are partially to blame for the recent spread of the virus in Tulsa and Tulsa County.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) — The coronavirus continues to spread and set daily records in South Carolina, one of the new outbreak hot spots in the United States.

Health officials said Saturday that South Carolina again saw more new cases, more people in the hospital with the virus and the highest percentage of positive tests in a day.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control reported more than 1,150 new confirmed cases, for a total of more than 23,750 in South Carolina since the outbreak began in March.

More than 16% of the people tested had the virus, compared to just over 9% two weeks ago. Health officials said when that figure rises, it is one of the strongest indicators the virus is spreading.

Health officials reported five additional deaths in the state, bringing South Carolina's COVID-19 death toll to 644 people.

Another trend bothering health officials is an increase in young people with the virus. About 18% of all cases in the state involve people ages 21 to 30, and 7% involve teenagers, the Department of Health and Environmental Control said.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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