COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Thursday 1,083 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 81,244.

Tulsa County had 124 of Thursday's cases and now has 16,487 total, second most in the state. Oklahoma County leads the state with 17,319 cases.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, rose from 1,125 to 1,132, a new high for the fourth day in a row. The average has now increased 12 straight days and is up 350 in that time.

Wikipedia

The Oklahoma State Department of Health may let schools get more involved in tracing their COVID cases.

Interim State Epidemiologist Jared Taylor said outside of Tulsa and Oklahoma counties, the state health department has been doing the heavy lifting, but schools have said the agency is being too "forceful."

Facebook / Gov. Kevin Stitt

Look at any number of county-level COVID-19 maps of the United States, like those from the White House and the Harvard Global Health Institute, and you'll see dozens of Oklahoma's counties in red. 

But on the color-coded map issued by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, you won't. Col. Lance Frye, the department's interim commissioner, says that's by design. 

"We said this from day one: It was never meant to confuse people," Frye told reporters at a Thursday news conference. "We've always said their red is our orange."

City of Tulsa

The Oklahoma State Medical Association on Wednesday issued a letter in support of amending Tulsa's mask ordinance to require masks for children 10 years and up.

Tulsa City Hall

City of Tulsa sales tax collections are trending upward, though still not quite recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

City Controller Norman Kildow told a virtual meeting of the city's audit committee on Thursday that this fiscal year, which began July 1, collections are roughly $1.7 million over projection. But, he noted, the budget projections were altered downward as COVID-19 hit and analysts forecast a significant decrease in sales tax revenue.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Norman City Council voted to require that masks be worn indoors at house parties if more than 25 people are present to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the college town — a step that angry residents said would infringe on their rights.

The council voted 5-3 on Tuesday night in favor of the ordinance, which took effect immediately and expires Nov. 30, despite the objections of some locals.

Flickr User Ryan Melaugh, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on Oklahomans' mental health, a researcher told the Tulsa City Council on Wednesday. 

"It's not that COVID has changed the mental health interventions we know we need," said Zack Stoycoff, executive director of the Healthy Minds Policy Initiative, during a virtual meeting of the council's urban and economic development committee. "COVID has increased the need for the interventions we've known about for a lot of years."

White House coronavirus task force

The latest White House coronavirus task force report for Oklahoma, dated Sunday but released by the state health department Wednesday, shows the state climbing the rankings to have some of the worst numbers in the country for two COVID-19 metrics.

NIAID-RML

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Wednesday 1,089 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 80,161.

Tulsa County had 156 of Wednesday's cases. Its total now stands at 16,363. Oklahoma County became the first in the state to break 17,000 cases, adding 174 to push its total to 17,135.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, rose from 1,108 to 1,125, a new high for the third day in a row. The average has now increased 11 straight days and is up 343 in that time.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

In response to growing numbers of both COVID-19 infections and deaths possibly caused by the virus across its prison system, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections announced Tuesday new measures meant to get outbreaks under control.

"Every time I learn of a new case, it really makes me sick," said Scott Crow, director of the agency, at a press conference with Gov. Kevin Stitt at the Capitol, "because this is extremely important."

"A positive case makes me sick, but an inmate death even makes me sicker," Crow said.

Oklahoma State University

As some colleges and universities across the country have become hotbeds for new COVID-19 outbreaks since welcoming students back to campus for fall semester, Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday stressed that students at Oklahoma institutions should remain on campus if they become infected.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Tuesday, 1,164 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the state's total to 79,072.

Tulsa County had 173 of Tuesday's cases. Its total now stands at 16,207, second to Oklahoma County's 16,961.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, rose from 1,098 to 1,108, a new high for the second day in a row. The average has now increased 10 straight days and is up 326 in that time.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oklahoma organizations focused on helping children in the state are watching Capitol Hill as lawmakers go back and forth on a short-term spending bill and possibly restart coronavirus relief talks.

Partnership for America’s Children Network Director Deb Stein said either could result in a renewal of the pandemic electronic benefits transfer program.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Monday 1,101 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the state's total to 77,908.

Tulsa County had 59 of Monday's cases. Its total now stands at 16,034, second-highest in the state behind Oklahoma County's 16,749.

Pixnio

The United States has committed $13.6 billion to six drug companies in an effort to produce a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, but in a hearing with federal health officials last week, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford raised concerns about how some are being developed.

"It's specifically the use of tissue that's from aborted children that becomes the challenge, and the Moderna is using embryonic kidney cells from aborted children. Johnson & Johnson is using aborted children embryonic retinal tissue for its production of the vaccines," Lankford said.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported more than 2,200 cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, pushing the state's total to 76,807.

The health department reported 1,237 cases on Saturday and 1,003 cases on Sunday.

Tulsa County added 181 cases over the weekend, bringing its total to 15,975. Oklahoma County leads the state with 16,560.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday rejected the Oklahoma Democratic Party’s lawsuit challenging the state’s absentee voting rules.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John Dowell wrote that the state’s absentee voting rules are “reasonable, nondiscriminatory and legitimate.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 1,249 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, increasing the seven-day rolling average of new infections to 989 and bringing the state's cumulative total of cases to 74,567.

140 cases were in Tulsa County, which brings the Tulsa County total to 15,794, increasing the seven-day average to 129 new cases per day.

The state's seven-day rolling average was at its highest on August 1, at 1,093. 

Six more deaths were also reported Friday, with one being a 50-64 year old man in Tulsa County.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Unemployment issues aside, the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for thousands of Oklahomans.

People have lost jobs that supported their families and are unable to find anything that pays more than half their former salary. Others are picking up as many extra jobs as they can, no matter the risk of infection, to make up for a partner’s pay cut. Some are struggling with the mental health impacts and languishing on suicide watches for weeks.

Roland Leach / U.S. Air Force

The union representing grocery and retail workers is calling on Gov. Kevin Stitt to implement a statewide mask requirement.

United Food and Commercial Workers Oklahoma representative Fitz Jennings told lawmakers during an interim study this week the workers they represent are among the lowest-paid and most likely to be exposed on the job.

Jennings said things are generally good in cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City that have instituted mask requirements, but in other places where only employees must mask up, customers aren’t doing their part.

Tomorrow night -- Saturday the 19th, at 7:30pm -- the Signature Symphony will perform an outdoor, socially-distanced concert in downtown Tulsa at ONEOK Field. Beethoven's 5th will be on the program for this one-hour concert, along with music composed by Randy Newman for the popular 1984 film, "The Natural," as well as a piece composed in honor of Stephen Goforth, a long-time Signature musician who died earlier this year.

Facebook / Governor Kevin Stitt

In a Thursday press conference at the Capitol, Gov. Kevin Stitt acknowledged that hundreds of Oklahomans continue to be admitted to hospitals with COVID-19, but touted advancements in medical treatments for those who become infected.

Facebook / City of Tulsa Gov

At a Thursday press conference, local officials said concern is growing alongside COVID-19 infections as more Tulsa County children catch the novel coronavirus.

"In the 5-to-17 age group, there were over 100 cases last week," Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said, adding that some in that age group were hospitalized.

Facebook / Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections reported Wednesday that a second woman incarcerated at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft has died, possibly of COVID-19.

The agency said Wednesday it was unable to confirm her identity due to medical privacy laws, but family members, inmate advocates and a cosmetology program for incarcerated women identify her as Vernita Watts, 70. Watts' status in the DOC's publicly available inmate database was changed from "ACTIVE" to "INACTIVE" at some point on Wednesday or Thursday.

File photo

Oklahoma’s adult obesity rate is up two percentage points from last year.

According to the latest edition of the State of Obesity report by Trust for America’s Health, 36.8% of Oklahoma adults in 2019 had obesity, the fourth-highest rate in the nation.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Thursday 1,034 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 73,318.

Tulsa County had 185 of Thursday's cases. Its total now stands at 15,654, second to Oklahoma County's 15,859.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, rose from 908 to 945. The average has now increased five days in a row and is up 163 in that time. The state's average peaked at 1,093 on Aug. 1 and had fallen to 645 by late August.

White House coronavirus task force

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.

Facebook / Gov. Kevin Stitt

Interim State Health Commissioner Lance Frye told Oklahoma lawmakers while the state is now in a prolonged mitigation phase of handling the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to start thinking ahead.

"We do need to look forward to what the next decade of public health is going to look like. We know that the prior infrastructure was not invested in. It just couldn’t do the job when it needed to," Frye said Tuesday during an interim study.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Saying the science is clear that children 10 and older can spread and be sickened by the novel coronavirus, the director of the Tulsa Health Department recommended the Tulsa City Council amend the city's COVID-19 mask ordinance to apply to those 10 and above rather than just those 18 and above.

NIAID-RML

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Wednesday 970 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the state's total to 72,284.

Tulsa County had 111 of those cases. Its total now stands at 15,469, second to Oklahoma County's 15,694.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, rose from 894 to 908, the first time it's been above 900 since Aug. 2. The average has now increased four days in a row and is up 126 in that time. The state's average peaked at 1,093 on Aug. 1 and had fallen to 645 by late August.

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