COVID-19

COVID-19 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Oklahoma is reporting 180 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cleveland County as the official state total has risen to 1,327 cases. 

According to the State Department of Health's Monday morning update, official totals rose from 1,252 cases statewide on Sunday to 1,327 cases Monday. The virus is now confirmed in 58 Oklahoma counties. 

The OSDH did not report any new deaths in Cleveland County on Monday after reporting four Cleveland County deaths over the weekend.

As of Monday morning, 51 Oklahomans have died in connection with COVID-19.

The OSDH reported five new deaths statewide Monday, including an Oklahoma County man between the ages of 18 and 35, two Greer County residents over 65, an Osage County woman over 65 and a Pottawatomie County man over 65. The Oklahoma County man is the first reported Oklahoman in the 18-35 age range to die in relation to COVID-19.

According to reporting from Oklahoma Watch, at least six of the state's deaths have occurred at Grace Skilled Nursing and Therapy Norman, where 47 residents and staff members have tested positive for the virus. 

According to a Saturday OSDH report on Friday's case numbers, 63% of Oklahomans who have died in relation to COVID-19 had had at least one pre-existing chronic health condition like heart, liver or lung disease. The average age of Oklahomans who have died in relation to the virus is 73. The Saturday report is the latest from the OSDH with these numbers.

The state has reported more than 1,400 negative COVID-19 test results from its own laboratory, but said in Monday's update that private labs are also beginning to report back with negative test numbers. Over the weekend, the OSDH received over 6,000 negative test results — some from as far back as February — from private labs. The OSDH noted Monday that it will continue to update the public as those numbers continue to come in. 

340 Oklahomans are hospitalized due to COVID-19, as of Monday's report. The OSDH is operating drive-thru testing locations throughout the state at places and times listed on OSDH's website.

The state announced last week that testing capacities have increased — Saturday's detailed OSDH report showed that the state had over 15,000 testing kits.

The state is now asking that healthcare providers test any Oklahoman who is showing COVID-19 symptoms or has been directly exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, and not just prioritize tests for the vulnerable. Symptoms must include a cough, shortness of breath and a fever of at least 100.4F.

Oklahoma lawmakers are back at the Capitol today to approve Gov. Kevin Stitt's public health emergency declaration and temporarily grant him boarder powers. 

The governor last week extended a previous executive order to cover all Oklahoma counties, temporarily closing non-essential businesses throughout the state. The governor also extended his "safer at home" order, asking that vulnerable or elderly Oklahomans shelter at home until April 30.   

While some Oklahoma cities have imposed shelter-in-place or stay at home orders, Oklahoma is now one of just nine states that does not have an official statewide shelter-in-place order that applies to all residents.

According an OSDH update early last week, Oklahoma has received more than half of its order of personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile.

The order includes masks, gloves, gowns and face and eye protection that will go to hospitals with ICUs or with patients who have tested positive or are being tested for COVID-19. The state is also waiting on personal protective equipment orders from private suppliers. 

Oklahoma has partnered with Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma LLC to process tests and has authorized labs at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University to test as well. Norman diagnostic test manufacturer IMMY is also processing tests after partnering with local educational and health entities.

Oklahoma now requires that anyone traveling from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Louisiana or Washington self-quarantine for 14 days. Stitt's order also requires that people delivering items to hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and day cares submit to screenings.

In Norman, non-essential businesses are closed for in-person operations until midnight April 14. Mayor Breea Clark's "stay-at-home" order also means residents should stay at home unless they must complete an essential activity.

Clark also has issued guidelines limiting organized community gatherings in Norman to no more than 10 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging everyone to practice social distancing to slow COVID-19's spread and reduce the risk of infection for vulnerable groups.

The CDC asks that people keep their distance from large gatherings, keep at least six feet away from others if they have to go out, work on communicating with others virtually or without seeing them in person and stay home if they experience symptoms or feel sick.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Those with symptoms or who suspect they may have been in contact with an infected person can call the Oklahoma Health Department's Coronavirus Hotline at 2-1-1.

Health professionals are urging the public to take precautions like frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering sneezes and coughs with an elbow or tissue, avoiding touching the face, staying home when possible and avoiding contact with those who are sick.

The OSDH recently launched an "COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring System" through its website that allows residents to input any flu-like symptoms they are experiencing. Residents' symptoms are then sent to OSDH and other local health officials to evaluate the symptoms and determine if monitoring or other assistance is required.

INTEGRIS Health also launched a new online tool designed to help Oklahoma residents determine if their symptoms are consistent with COVID-19. The results give residents a clinical recommendation for how they should move forward to either treat their symptoms or get additional COVID-19 support or testing.

To access the OSDH COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring System, visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov. To access the new INTEGRIS Health online tool, visit integrisok.com.

Emma Keith

366-3537

Follow me @emma_ckeith

ekeith@normantranscript.com

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