Tulsa World editorial: Tulsa Health Department provides clarity and details with innovative mapping | Editorial

Under the leadership of Executive Director Bruce Dart, the health department developed its own risk assessment map modeled on the Johns Hopkins University method for clarity and timeliness.

Next to the online map is a chart of steps people in each category can take to prevent the spread, improving the safety in their ZIP code.

Currently, most high-risk ZIP codes are located in south and east, encompassing sections of Bixby, Jenks and Broken Arrow, with one section west of Tulsa. All other ZIP codes are at the moderate risk level; none have reached the low-risk category.

City and school officials ought to be using this map and the dashboard of other metrics available on the Tulsa Health Department website in decision making. It is a thorough and understandable set of facts.

Dr. Dart is optimistic, telling reporter Corey Jones the overall trend is improving toward the low-risk category: “If people continue to follow guidelines, we can absolutely get there and stay safe until we do have a vaccine for everybody.”

The pandemic has not waned; the virus remains a serious threat to public health. People are still getting sick and dying from infections.

The Tulsa Health Department’s work in providing detailed, neighborhood-level data and consistent messaging reflects good governance and is crucial to ending the pandemic.

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