COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 124 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, increasing the state's total to 5,086.

Texas County, with fewer than 20,000 residents, accounted for 65 of the new cases. It now has 606 reported cases of COVID-19, third most behind Oklahoma County's 1,035 and Tulsa County's 752.

Guymon is the site of a Seaboard Foods pork processing plant with an outbreak of COVID-19. State and local officials have collected hundreds of testing samples from employees this week and have started testing more people in the community as well.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House narrowly approved a bill on Thursday to strip some power during health emergencies from mayors and other local officials.

The bill would make several changes to the Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act, conferring broad authority on the governor and others during health emergencies if the Legislature agrees.

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Saying the data support it, Gov. Kevin Stitt said on Thursday the state is ready to move on to phase two of his reopening plan Friday.

That means events like organized sports, weddings and funerals can resume across the state under proper social distancing and sanitation protocols.

"This is our moment to showcase Oklahoma’s courage and freedom to the nation. Let’s work together, let’s lead together and let’s win together," Stitt said.

Seaboard Foods

State officials asked for federal help as they deal with a COVID-19 outbreak in Texas County, which has a population of less than 20,000.

Oklahoma Air National Guard State Air Surgeon Col. Lance Frye said on Thursday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responded and will process up to 3,000 additional tests for the area if needed.

Though the reopening of Tulsa County and the City of Tulsa came sooner than Mayor G.T. Bynum and Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart would have liked, both men announced Thursday that the current data concerning COVID-19 support moving into the next stage of reopening.

Facebook / @OklahomaAg

Blayne Arthur, Secretary of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, spoke with KWGS about a new amendment to Governor Kevin Stitt's coronavirus executive order, the COVID-19 outbreak at a pork plant in Guymon, and what her department is doing to try to maintain the food supply chain.

NIAID-RML

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 110 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, pushing the state's total number of confirmed cases to 4,962.

There were 101 new recoveries reported. The state health department considers someone to have recovered if they did not die, are not currently hospitalized and it has been at least 14 days since their positive test. Symptoms of the illness, however, can reportedly linger for several weeks.

A total of 3,660 people are now considered to have recovered from COVID-19.

Oklahoma State University Medical Center

Oklahoma State University Medical Center in Tulsa could be under contract as the area’s COVID-19 surge hospital through the end of June, but hospital officials are looking at keeping it ready even longer.

OSU Medical Trustee Jay Helm said on Wednesday the space should reamain ready to take in COVID-19 patients through the fall.

"Everything you see is that we’ll have a resurgence coming. And so, we’ve kind of committed that we would be available. It’s not part of the contract. We’d probably have to have a new contract," Helm said.

Facebook / @OklahomaDOC

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted to recommend special medical parole for 12 inmates determined to be at elevated risk from the coronavirus pandemic.

At a virtual meeting of the board on Wednesday morning, Steven Bickley, the body's executive director, explained how the specific inmates ended up on the docket. 

"The agency received a letter from [Oklahoma Department of Corrections] Director [Scott] Crow on Friday, May 1st, recommending 14 inmates for medical parole," Bickley said. "That is authorized by him under statute."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 120 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state's total to 4,852, but the number of patients considered to have recovered was 136.

Patients are considered to have recovered if they did not die, are not currently hospitalized and it has been at least 14 days since they tested positive for the coronavirus, though there are reports symptoms can persist for weeks longer. In all, 3,559 Oklahomans have recovered, according to the state health department.

KWGS File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Hundreds of people stood in line Tuesday waiting to enter a casino in central Oklahoma that has been allowed to reopen with social distancing restrictions and sanitation safeguards in place to protect against a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Google Maps Street View

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Collections to Oklahoma’s main government operating fund missed projections by 44% last month, the biggest shortfall in modern history, state finance officials said Tuesday.

Postponing the income tax deadline from April to July, plummeting energy prices and the coronavirus-related shutdown of businesses across the state amounted to a “threefold economic gut punch,” said Office of Management and Enterprise Services Director Steve Harpe.

Instagram / @TulsaCountyOK

Tulsa County has begun awarding nearly $114 million in federal funds it received under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 119 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the state's total number to 4,732.

Five more deaths were reported, with one in the past day and the rest happening between April 30 and May 9. One death was a Tulsa County woman between 50 and 64 years old. The other deaths were all adults over 65.

Aaron Pruzaniec / Licensed under CC 2.0

The Oklahoma Senate passed a bill on Monday to give businesses immunity from lawsuits alleging they exposed someone to COVID-19.

Senate Bill 1946 grants businesses civil immunity as long as they were following any federal, state or local guidance in place at the time of the alleged exposure.

Sen. Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville) said the bill is not doing away with any regulations.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Monday reported 24 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths in the state.

A total of 4,613 Oklahomans are now known to have been infected with the coronavirus since the first case was reported March 6, and 274 have died since the first death was reported March 18.

Both deaths were men between 50 and 64 years old. To date, 828 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oklahoma has surpassed 4.500 and with two more deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Sunday reported 4,589 cases, an increase of 99 from Saturday. The number of actual infections is thought to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected without showing symptoms. The department said there have now been at least 272 deaths due to COVID-19.

File Photo

Nursing homes are looking for emergency funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Care Providers Oklahoma President and CEO Steven Buck said the group is supporting a request by care facilities nationwide for $10 billion out of $175 billion in a provider relief fund created by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Facebook / @ClarkForNorman

Facing accusations of religious discrimination from Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and U.S. Attorney Timothy Downing, Norman Mayor Breea Clark on Friday announced that she would amend the city's order meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 and allow places of worship to hold in-person services sooner than she originally intended.

Facebook / @AlliedPlasticOKC

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma City plastic supplier company has been receiving thousands of orders for custom-made protective barriers from businesses reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Health officials say four more people in Oklahoma have died  from the coronavirus, bringing the total of deaths to 270.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says that the number of confirmed positive cases in the state increased by 66, for a total of 4,490.

The number of actual infections is thought to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected without showing symptoms.

With Tesla founder Elon Musk using Twitter as a platform to threaten to pull his company out of California due to his disagreement with the state's measures to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt saw an opening on Saturday.

"Oklahoma is open for business," the tweet from the governor's official account reads. "We're doing it safely, responsibly and based on the data in our state. @ElonMusk, let's talk!"

"P.S.," the tweet concludes, "Route 66 would make a great place for a test drive..."

City of Norman residents have been in touch with Attorney General Mike Hunter’s office about their mayor’s reopening plan because it delays in-person church services from resuming until May 15.

After three weeks of declining new unemployment claims, Oklahoma set another new record during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 68.237 initial claims last week, almost 16,000 more than the week prior and about 6,500 more than the previous record, set the week ending April 4.

The record number of claims include gig workers who recently became eligible for benefits, but they don’t completely account for the spike.

Instagram / @CityOfTulsa

Despite the City of Tulsa's financial belt-tightening, the Parks and Recreation department doesn't foresee major interruptions in maintenance and capital projects.

At a virtual meeting of the Tulsa Parks & Recreation Board on Tuesday, Anna America, the city's parks director, said parkgoers don't have to worry.

Department of Defense

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Friday 94 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total number of confirmed cases to 4,424.

Six additional deaths were also reported, with two in the past day. Two were between 50 and 64 years old, and the rest were 65 or older. The illness has now killed 266 Oklahomans and hospitalized 815, with 228 currently hospitalized.

Oklahoma County leads the state with 905 cases and 41 deaths. Tulsa County has had 684 cases and 36 deaths, and Cleveland County has had 453 cases and 32 deaths.

Office of the State Treasurer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Revenue collections in Oklahoma fell by half a billion dollars in April from a year ago as an economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic swept the state, Treasurer Randy McDaniel said Thursday.

Gross receipts fell $502.5 million to just under $1.1 billion, down 31.8% from April 2019, McDaniel said.

Income tax collections fell by 50.5% to $405.8 million. McDaniel noted that the filing deadline for income taxes was postponed from April 15 until July 15 because of the pandemic.

Scott Aycock

Hello, Folk Salad fans! We're back on the air with new shows! 

 Richard Higgs and I sheltering at home and creating radio from my living room. We JUST set up a studio so we can start bringing you some brand new shows. Some great new music has come across our desk and we look forward to sharing it with you, as well as some of our favorites and yours, and of course our own great Oklahoma artists.  

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Thursday 129 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total number of confirmed cases to 4,330.

Seven additional deaths were also reported, and 260 Oklahomans have now died from the illness since March 18.

Two deaths happened in the past day, and the rest happened between April 20 and Tuesday. Five of the people who died were age 65 or older. The other two were between 50 and 64 years old.

KWGS File Photo

While COVID-19 is spreading in jails, Sheriff Vic Regalado said Wednesday the Tulsa County Jail remains without a confirmed case.

Regalado said his office will start testing all existing and incoming inmates next week.

"The COVID testing will consist of nasal as well as saliva tests, and I hope that gives us an insight, especially as it concerns asymptomatic inmates," Regalado said.

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