COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma has had at least 6,506 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 334 deaths linked to the disease caused by the new coronavirus, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported Sunday.

The report is an increase of 88 cases but no deaths from Saturday. Nearly 5,500 Oklahoma residents have recovered from the disease, according to the agency.

The actual number of cases is believed to be much higher because of a lack of testing and because some people with the disease don’t show symptoms.

Tulsa Flag

Tulsa and the rest of Oklahoma officially moved to phase three of reopening Monday, lifting several more restrictions implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

In Tulsa, events can resume without size limits, outdoor park amenities and dog parks can be used again, community centers are reopening, and businesses that were operating by appointment only can start taking walk-in customers. 

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said people must remain vigilant in taking safety precautions like wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing and frequently washing their hands.

Citing a low proportion of active cases in the state, increased testing and declining positive rates, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Friday the state will move to the next phase of his Open Up and Recover Safely plan on Monday as planned.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Friday three additional deaths from and 68 new cases of COVID-19.

Two deaths happened in the past 24 hours, and the third happened May 23. All three were adults 65 or older.

Two deaths were in Tulsa County, which now has 51, second only to Oklahoma County with 60. Since March 18, 329 Oklahomans have officially died of COVID-19.

Over the course of the outbreak, 982 people have been hospitalized, and 160 are currently hospitalized. The state now has 6,338 confirmed cases of the illness.

Tulsa officials on Friday said the city and county are ready to follow the state into phase three of a reopening plan on Monday.

As of Friday, Tulsa County had 983 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, 158 active cases and 51 deaths. Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Doctor Bruce Dart said the county's case trend is almost flat and hospitalization rates are trending up but remain manageable.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said he does not have the same concerns proceeding to phase three as he did going into phase one, however, because the main benchmark is hospital capacity.

Tulsa Public Schools is seeking community input as it plans for the upcoming school year.

An online survey asks parents, students and members of the community how they feel about steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 — things like staggered schedules to allow for social distancing, a longer school year so there’s more time to disinfect classrooms, and shifting between traditional and distance learning if infection rates warrant.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Thursday 41 new cases of COVID-19, four additional deaths and 101 newly recovered patients.

The state now has 6,270 confirmed cases of the illness since March 6.

One death reported Thursday happened in the past 24 hours, and the rest happened between May 22 and Tuesday. All four were adults 65 or older. Since March 18, 326 Oklahomans have died from COVID-19.

Over the course of the outbreak, 975 people have been hospitalized, and 181 are currently in the hospital.

File Photo

Tulsa saw significant decreases in vehicle miles traveled during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

INCOG Transportation Modeling Coordinator Nimish Dharmadhikari said on the south leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop, vehicle miles traveled between April 1 and April 15 were down 57% from the same period last year, and some areas of the city had steeper declines.

"Arts District experienced around 77% reduction in volume, whereas Brookside experienced about 69% reduction in volume," Dharmadhikari said.

Tulsa Transit buses will be free to ride a little while longer.

The transit board on Wednesday approved an extension of the policy through June, though General Manager Ted Rieck will most likely end after the first week of the month.

Rieck said Tulsa Transit buses have perhaps been busier than they should have under the policy.

"We have a lot of people who ride just to joyride, crowding out people who actually need to get somewhere on the buses. So, we believe by charging fares, we’ll control who’s actually riding the bus," Rieck said.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Wednesday 92 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths.

Oklahoma has now seen 6,229 total cases of the illness, and 322 people have died. Two of the deaths reported Wednesday happened in Tulsa County. Both were adults 65 or older.

Tulsa County now has 49 deaths, second-most in the state.

The other two deaths happened in Washington County. All four new deaths happened between March 25 and Monday.

Norman Police

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma police officer will be disciplined for violating department policy when he responded to an email about coronavirus protective masks that were issued by sending racist images of people with white bags over their faces carrying torches, reminiscent of black victims being lynched by the Ku Klux Klan, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Integris

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma City-based hospital system on Tuesday began allowing limited visitation to most patients, including those with the coronavirus, as the state continues to reopen.

Integris Health said some patients can designate one person as a “patient representative” who can visit between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

Patients in obstetrics, pediatrics and neonatal intensive care may have two representatives, but no visitors will be allowed for patients in isolation except for those near death.

Tulsa Airport

After seeing steep drops in traffic in March and April, Tulsa International Airport officials are starting to see a rebound.

According to Transportation Security Administration figures, passenger numbers at Tulsa International were down 53% in March and almost 96% in April from the same months the year before.

Tulsa Airports CEO Alexis Higgins said during a Tulsa Regional Chamber business event more people came through the security checkpoint on Friday than they’d seen since mid-March.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa County renewed on Tuesday its agreement with the federal government for the sheriff’s office to identify undocumented immigrants for deportation after they’ve been arrested.

The Board of County Commissioners voted 2–1 for the new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287(g) agreement. Commissioner Karen Keith voted against it.

Tulsa County’s previous agreement was set to expire in June. The new one is in effect until terminated by the sheriff or ICE.

NIAID-RML

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the state's total number of confirmed cases to 6,137.

Five more deaths were reported, including three in Tulsa County. Tulsa County has the second-most deaths in the state, 47, behind Oklahoma County's 58.

Since March 18, 318 Oklahomans have died from COVID-19. Over the course of the outbreak, 941 people have been hospitalized.

Department of Defense

Oklahoma posted 241 new cases of COVID-19 and six additional deaths over the long holiday weekend.

The latest counts from the Oklahoma State Department of Health put the state’s total confirmed cases at 6,090. Since March 18, 313 people have died, and 940 have been hospitalized over the course of the outbreak.

The health department says more than 4,700 Oklahomans who have tested positive for the coronavirus have recovered, leaving the state with 1,063 known, active cases.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported Sunday the state had reached 6,037 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The health department reported 111 new cases on Saturday and 77 on Sunday. Four deaths were reported Saturday, including three in Tulsa County. All four deaths happened between May 13 and Thursday.

Three of the four new deaths were adults age 65 or older. The fourth was a man between 50 and 64 years old.

Since Oklahoma's first case of COVID-19 was reported March 6, 932 people have been hospitalized. Of those, 174 are currently in the hospital.

Courtesy

As the pandemic upended commencement rituals across campuses, Kim Gaddie wanted to give the University of Oklahoma’s class of 2020 a taste of tradition -- well, kinda.

Armed with boxes of chalk, Gaddie, her husband and a few colleagues spent hours writing the names of graduating seniors on the concrete sidewalk where class members would have lined up to march into the ceremony. By the time they were done, the pathway was festooned with more than 4,000 colorful names.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Are some workouts, like yoga or spinning classes, less safe than others? Should I wear a mask? Do I need more than six-feet apart in cardio classes where there’s panting and heavy breathing?

There are many legitimate concerns about how gyms and fitness studios can safely reopen without furthering the spread. But infectious disease experts say risk can be greatly mitigated by following some simple rules.

U.S. Air Force

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Mike Weeks and his wife are fitness junkies. During quarantine, they tried home workouts — push-ups, planks, bike riding around town — but it wasn’t the same. The semi-retired oil and gas explorer longed for his old gym routine. “To say I missed it immensely is an understatement.”

So on May 8, the first day that Life Time gym reopened, the Oklahoma City resident was right there, though “slightly apprehensive.”

“I’m 66 years old,” he says, and “purportedly in the high-risk category.”

KWGS News File photo

The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association Board rejected by one vote on Friday a set of guidelines for summer workouts and practices intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The rejected guidelines laid out a three-phased plan to resume full activities in August, which started with strength and conditioning sessions under safety precautions like temperature checks for most of June. OSSAA Board Member Jason Sternberger said he wanted a plan more in line with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s state reopening.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 169 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, pushing the state's total to 5,849.

It was the state's largest single-day increase in cases in May and the most since 171 new cases on April 4.

Three new deaths were reported on Friday, with one each in Oklahoma, Tulsa and Texas counties. Two deaths were adults 65 or older, and one was a man between 50 and 64 years old.

COVID-19 has now killed 307 Oklahomans since March 18. It has hospitalized 926 people since it was first identified, and 190 people are currently hospitalized.

Courtesy Keystone Lake Jellystone Park.

With many Oklahoma families feeling cooped up after months of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, some local campgrounds are popular destinations for Memorial Day weekend.

Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts' two locations in Oklahoma, in Mannford and Eufaula, say they're ready to safely welcome a sold-out crowd this weekend.

"We have about 85 campsites rented for the weekend," said Beth Ryan, owner and operator of the Mannford site, on Keystone Lake. Ryan said the park is going to great lengths to keep people safe.

Facebook / Catoosa Public Schools

When Catoosa High School announced it would be one of the few Tulsa-area high schools to hold a traditional, in-person graduation ceremony for its seniors, it said it would reference Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and remove anyone not following a list of restrictions meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Friday morning his pick for a new interim director of the State Department of Health.

Col. Lance Frye, a Tulsa resident, is currently serving as the State Air Surgeon of the Oklahoma Air National Guard, a role he said he will continue in during his time as health commissioner. Frye is also an OB/GYN and professor at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

"Col. Frye is the right leader at the right time," Stitt said in his announcement from the Capitol on Friday.

JailExchange.com

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is moving more than 140 healthy inmates from a county jail that reported it was ill-equipped to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Thursday.

Inmates at the Comanche County Detention Center who had two consecutive negative coronavirus tests are being moved to state facilities, the department said.

Courtesy

Mother Road Market is opening up its patio Friday to diners with an online reservation, ordering and payment system.

The food hall has been closed since March 17 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

For now, tables will be at least 6 feet apart; workers will be wearing masks and gloves; and guests must answer a health declaration, have their temperature checked before being seated, and wear a mask when they’re not at their table.

University of Tulsa

The University of Tulsa is preparing for what’s being called a "hybrid" return in the fall.

That would include requiring everyone on campus to wear a mask. According to an email to employees from Interim President Janet Levit, TU’s board of trustees has approved several other recommendations, including private rooms for students living on campus, limiting food service to carry-out with mobile ordering options and using COVID-19 testing strategically.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Thursday reported 148 new cases of COVID-19 and five new deaths.

The jump in cases was the second-largest single-day increase this month behind 151 new cases reported May 16. Oklahoma now has 5,680 confirmed cases of the illness.

The five deaths reported Thursday included five adults 65 or older and one one man between 50 and 64 years old. One death was in the past 24 hours; the rest happened between May 14 and Tuesday.

Facebook / Catoosa Public Schools

Catoosa High School seniors will be some of the first Tulsa-area students to be graduating via a traditional, in-person commencement ceremony since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to the school community sent on Wednesday, Catoosa High Principal Josh Brown confirmed that the ceremony would take place at the school's football stadium on Thursday evening (or this weekend, if weather forces a postponement). 

Pages