The latest report for Oklahoma from the White House coronavirus task force once again recommends a statewide mask mandate, points to Arkansas as a model for virus response, and warns that nursing home policies and procedures must be altered to keep residents safe.
"Establish statewide mask mandate. COVID-19 is being brought into nursing homes through community transmission. Review and improve infection control practices at nursing homes to stop the introduction of COVID-19. Arkansas is a great example in the Heartland where statewide transmission has decreased through mask usage," the first bullet-point under the "RECOMMENDATIONS" heading reads.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), like Okla. Gov. Kevin Stitt (R), initially resisted calls for a statewide mask mandate, but eventually implemented one, citing such an order's role in keeping schools and businesses open. Stitt has signaled he will not implement such a mandate because he is ideologically opposed to a measure he has said would run counter to Oklahomans' belief in "freedoms."
The report also lists Oklahoma as having the 5th worst rate of new infections and 5th worst rate of test positivity in the nation.