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Tulsa Health Department Working with Hospitals on COVID-19 Testing Sites Other than Emergency Rooms

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KWGS News file photo
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Oklahoma is now at 10 reported cases of COVID-19.

Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart said with the steady uptick comes unwelcome news.

"Community spread has been identified in Oklahoma over the weekend, and that was identified in Cleveland County. It is likely, in all honestly, that we will detect community spread very soon in Tulsa County," Dart said.

Dart said the health department is working with area hospitals to develop testing protocols that divert patients away from emergency rooms and urgent care clinics so doctors can focus care on the sickest patients.

"We want to keep health care providers safe as well as making sure those who are high-risk safe. We are developing a plan to do screening and testing elsewhere so the hospitals can continue to focus on caring for those who need care the most," Dart said.

Six of Oklahoma’s 10 reported cases of COVID-19 have been in individuals 50 or older. The state has no deaths so far. One case, a man in Tulsa County, has recovered.

Tulsa County leads the state with three cases.

The state’s COVID-19 call center is now a 24/7 hotline. The toll-free number is 1-877-215-8336.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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