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State Sets Goal of Testing 90,000 Oklahomans for COVID-19 by End of May

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As plans to reopen Oklahoma move ahead, the state health department announced Thursday it will test 2% of the state’s population — 90,000 people — for COVID-19 by the end of May.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Caring Vans will be used to offer more testing in rural areas and underserved communities, like Sen. George Young’s Oklahoma City district. Young said testing is important with five to 10 people still dying from the illness every day.

"I’m glad that it has not gone larger than that, but if that five or 10th person is your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your wife, your husband, your son, your daughter, your auntie, your niece, your uncle, your cousin, then it’s important and significant," Young said.

Health Commissioner Gary Cox said the health department is also working with OSU, OU and the National Guard to train more contact tracers in order to stay on top of any flare-ups. 

"Our goal is to have at least 1,000 contact tracers ready to deploy as needed," Cox said.

It's recommended states have at least 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents, meaning the state would need nearly 1,200.

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