ENID, Okla. — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma rose only by 29, or just more than 1%, including an additional positive test in Garfield County on Sunday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

There were 2,599 cases of the coronavirus, compared to 2,570 on Saturday, and one additional death — a Delaware County woman older than 65 — reported in Oklahoma by the state Health Department.

A case in the town of Lahoma was added to the OSDH city and county reports. No other new cases were reported in Northwest Oklahoma on Sunday, according to OSDH, which shows cumulative COVID-19 cases by city or town including nine in Enid, two each in Kingfisher and Seiling and one each in Alva, Dover, Fairview, Garber, Hennessey, Jet, Lamont, Laverne, Medford, Okarche and Woodward. Residents living in areas with under 100 in population or those with unknown addresses may be recorded as "other," according to OSDH.

Garfield County has recorded 11 cases, with five recovered and one death, an 86-year-old Garfield County woman; Kingfisher County has recorded six cases, with five recovered; Grant County has recorded 2 cases, with both recovered; Major county has recorded 2 cases, with 1 recovered and one death, a woman in the 18-35 age group; Alfalfa and Woodward counties have recorded one case each, with both recovered; and Woods County has recorded one case, according to OSDH. There have been no positive tests in Blaine County, according to OSDH as of Sunday morning.

Forecasts indicate a peak in Oklahoma cases may be seen this week. At the peak, the state Department of Health’s model predicts 915 hospitalizations and 458 Oklahomans in ICU beds. Hospital data provided Saturday shows 307 hospitalized as of Friday, April 16, with cases or suspected cases of COVID-19, and 136 of those were in intensive care units. Total hospitalizations since March 6, when the first case was officially reported in Oklahoma, were at 555, according to OSDH on Sunday.

St. Mary's Regional Medical Center had one COVID-19 patient as of Sunday morning, according to a spokeswoman. There have been no new admissions. There were no COVID-19 patients in Integris Bass Baptist Health Center in Enid as of Friday. 

State numbers

OSDH has recorded positive COVID-19 tests in 68 of Oklahoma's 77 counties. There have been 1,575 Oklahomans, just more than 60%, who have recovered after positively testing for COVID-19 and 884 still active, according to OSDH on Sunday.

Ages of patients with COVID-19 range from 0 to 102 years old, with a median range of 54.1. There have been 25 cases in the 0-4 range, 53 in the 5-17 range, 481 in the 18-35 range, 549 in the 36-49 range, 652 in the 50-64 range and 839 in the 65 and older range, according to OSDH. Of those testing positive, 1,442 have been female, 1,153 have been male and four have been reported as unknown gender.

Of the 140 Oklahomans testing positive for COVID-19 who have died, 115, or 82.1%, have been 65 and older; 16, or 11.4%, have been in the 50-64 age group; 4, or 2.9%, have been in the 36-49 age group; and 5, or 3.6%, have been in the 18-35 age group. Patients with a pre-existing conditions made up 66.2% the deaths, and 45 of the deaths were long-term care/nursing home cases, according to OSDH on Friday.

Deaths recorded per county in the state as of Sunday are 23 in Oklahoma County; 22 in Tulsa County; 21 in Cleveland County; 8 each in Osage and Wagoner counties; 6 in Washington County; 5 each in Delaware and Greer counties; 4 each in Creek, Kay and Pottawatomie counties; 3 each in Adair, Canadian, Mayes and Muskogee counties; 2 each in Caddo, Pawnee, Rogers and Sequoyah counties; and 1 each in Cherokee, Garfield, Grady, Latimer, Major, Stephens, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Seminole and Texas counties, according to OSDH data released Sunday morning.

Positive tests recorded per county in the state are 560 in Oklahoma County; 411 in Tulsa County; 313 in Cleveland County; 140 in Washington County, 108 in Wagoner County; 83 in Delaware County; 73 in Canadian County; 68 in Creek County; 67 in Comanche County; 64 in Osage County; 55 in Greer County; 51 in Caddo County; 46 in Kay County; 43 in Adair County; 38 in Rogers County; 37 in Payne County; 36 in Pottawatomie County; 28 in Pawnee County; 27 in Ottawa County; 26 in Muskogee County; 24 in Cherokee County; 23 in McClain County; 20 in Grady County; 19 in Mayes County; 17 in Pittsburg County; 15 each in Okmulgee and Stephens counties; 13 each in Nowata and Texas counties; 11 in Garfield County; 10 each in Garvin, Lincoln, Pontotoc and Sequoyah counties; 9 each in Logan and Custer counties; 8 in Craig County; 7 each in McCurtain and Seminole counties; 6 each in Jackson, Kingfisher, LeFlore and Noble counties; 5 each in Bryan and Cotton counties; 4 in Latimer County; 3 each in Choctaw, Johnston and Kiowa counties; 2 each in Beckham, Dewey, Grant, Haskell, Love, Major, Marshall, McIntosh and Tillman counties; and 1 each in Alfalfa, Atoka, Beaver, Carter, Harper, Jefferson, Murray, Okfuskee, Woods and Woodward counties, according to OSDH information released Sunday morning.

Local hospitals

Both Integris Bass and St. Mary's in Enid released statements to the News & Eagle Tuesday, April 14, urging people to seek emergency room care when needed but to use tele-health resources when possible to limit exposure to COVID-19 or influenza.

Both hospitals stressed extra precautions are being taken during the pandemic to protect patients, and emergency departments remain a safe place to come for emergency medical care.

"If you are having symptoms that could possibly be an indicator of a medical emergency, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, trouble lifting your arms and weakness, please visit your nearest emergency department," said Dr. Michael Pontious, M.D. "Heart attacks and strokes don’t stop during a pandemic, so if you are experiencing these symptoms, please don’t delay in seeking emergent care — just like you would have done before COVID-19.” 

Those developing symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath or cough should contact their medical professionals or call the COVID-19 Call Center at (877) 215-8336 or 211 for assistance.

"Patients are encouraged to consult their physician or public health professional about their symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. Clinicians may recommend testing for other respiratory illnesses, including flu, before recommending a COVID-19 test," according to the OSDH website. Those who are uninsured an call 211 for community resources.  

Northwest Oklahoma testing

Drive-through testing is being conducted by appointment only for Blaine County, 521 W. 4th, Watonga, (580) 623-7977; Garfield County, 2501 S. Mercer, Enid, (580) 233-0650; Grant County, 115 N. Main, Medford, (580) 395-2906; Kingfisher County, 124 E. Sheridan, courthouse annex room #101, Kingfisher, (405) 375-3008; Major County, 501 E. Broadway, Fairview, (580) 227-3362; Noble County, 300 Fir St., Perry, (580) 336-2257; Woods County, 511 Barnes St., Alva, (580) 327-3192; and Woodward County, 1631 Texas Ave., Woodward, (580) 256-6416. For a full list of county drive-through testing, go to https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/drive-thru-testing. Some health department also advise the public to check their Facebook pages for more information regarding testing.

Those with symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, shortness of breath and coughing, should call ahead to local emergency rooms. Those with minor symptoms should contact their regular physicians.

Recruiting volunteers

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) is recruiting volunteers to serve in medical and non-medical positions, in anticipation of a medical surge and prolonged response to the coronavirus pandemic.

OKMRC volunteer services focus on medical services and healthcare, but you "do not need to be trained in a healthcare field to contribute to the mission,” according to the OKMRC website.

OKMRC utilizes volunteer team members with expertise in areas including:

• Practicing and retired medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, pharmacists, hospital-based workers, nurses' assistants, veterinarians, dentists, and others with health/medical training.

• Retired and working professionals in the fields of public health.

• Community citizens without medical training who can assist the primary health teams with administrative services, communications, record-keeping, and many other essential support functions.

"As an MRC volunteer, you'll become informed about and oriented to your community's emergency procedures, trauma response techniques, use of specialized equipment, and other information that increases your effectiveness as a member of the team,” according to the website.

Training is provided for all volunteers, and volunteers must submit to a background check.

For more information on OKMRC volunteering, go to https://www.okmrc.org/volunteering. The application to volunteer is available at https://www.okmrc.org/application.

State and local emergency orders

All 77 of Oklahoma's counties fall under Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's "Safer at Home" order until April 30 that bans gatherings in groups larger than 10 and calls for people older than 65 and those with a compromised immune system stay home. Individuals who need to undertake essential errands, such as grocery shopping and picking up medication, may do so.

Law enforcement in some cities, including Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Norman, have been asked to enforce the governor's order and shelter-in-place policies, according to OSDH.

Resources and information on COVID-19 can be obtained by calling 211 or going to https://covidresources.ok.gov/.

On March 27, Enid Mayor George Pankonin signed an amended emergency declaration that took effect the night of March 28, including a stay-at-home order, closure of non-essential businesses and closure of city of Enid facilities. The next day the first positive test was reported in Garfield County.

"I anticipated that a positive test result was imminent, so I upgraded our Emergency Declaration on Friday," Pankonin said March 29 after being notified about the Garfield County case. “Now that we have in fact had a positive test result, I will review our current declaration to determine if more should be done to proactively protect the public and amend the proclamation as necessary. I will meet with health care experts, city staff and other leaders (Monday) and make changes as necessary.”

In a March 28 Facebook post, Enid Police Department said citizens will benefit from voluntarily complying with the rules set out by the city’s emergency declaration, the governor’s executive orders and the president’s coronavirus guidelines for America.

“While it is true that the Enid Police Department has the authority to enforce these rules, we are asking for everyone to pull together and take the necessary precautions,” EPD posted. “We all, every citizen in Enid and Garfield County, want the same thing and it can only happen if we work together.”

A local bar owner recently was fined for violating the city of Enid's emergency management plan in response to the COVID-19 health emergency. Enid police say they are asking businesses and residents to abide by the declaration. An EPD spokesman said Monday, April 13, that incident there have been no issues with city residents following the proclamation.

Law enforcement with Garfield County and North Enid also reported they had seen no issues.

On March 19, Garfield County commissioners passed an emergency declaration for public access to the Garfield County Court House and all other Garfield County facilities.

“We have taken precautions at the jail by limiting public access and screening the jailers and new arrestees,” Sheriff Jody Helm said Sunday. “Luckily, we don’t have any sickness at the jail as of right now. The jail has K95 masks and surgical masks and are disinfecting routinely. The Sheriff’s Office has done the same as far as limiting access along with disinfecting, we are still answering calls but are following social distancing when possible while using masks.

“It was inevitable that Garfield County would get COVID-19 at some point, and It seems Garfield County Is doing a good job taking this seriously. Keep all first responders and medical staff in your thoughts and prayers because they are the heroes in this difficult time.” 

This story is developing and will be updated.

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