Second Oklahoman Dies of COVID-19 as Cases Increase

Mar 22, 2020

Credit Department of Defense

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A second person in Oklahoma died of COVID-19 as the number of state residents with the illness caused by the novel coronavirus increased by more than a dozen, health officials said Sunday.

The man who died was in his 50s and lived in Pawnee County, west of Tulsa, the Oklahoma State Department of Health said in a statement. It did not provide further details on the circumstances of his illness and death.

The number of people in the state who have tested positive for the virus increased to 67 Sunday, from 53 the day before. The health department said 11 of those people are hospitalized.

More test results are coming in from a state partnership with privately owned Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma, which has received more than 300 tests for the state.

"The numbers of pending and negative test results remain fluid as we work to streamline the reporting process through this partnership," read a Sunday update from the health department.

Oklahoma County has the most cases, with 26, following by Cleveland County, with 13, and Tulsa County, with six.

The vast majority of people who contract the virus recover within weeks. It causes only mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but it can lead to more severe illness, including pneumonia, especially in older adults and people with preexisting health problems.