Latest report shows more effort needed to combat pandemic in Oklahoma

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 10/28/2020, 7:23 PM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(TULSA, Okla.) The latest White House Coronavirus Task Force State Report for Oklahoma was released by Oklahoma health officials on Wednesday. The report states Oklahoma is still in the red zone for cases with the 14th highest rate in the country, down three spots from last week’s report. According to the report, Oklahoma had 217 new cases per 100,000 population in the last week, compared to a national average of 133 per 100,000. Oklahoma is also ranked in the red zone for test positivity, with the 8th highest rate in the country. As far as community spread is concerned, the report states, “All indicators of community spread are increasing, including percent of nursing homes with positive staff members and residents, and community spread is increasing hospital admissions, leading to potential resource constraints.” The task force recommended increasing mitigation efforts to control community spread, like mask wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene, avoiding crowds in public and specifically, social gatherings in private, with specific mitigation targeting rural communities, individuals over 65 years-old through senior citizen networks and college students. Read the full report here: Data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows 119,152 Oklahomans have become infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic began. 1,286 Oklahomans have lost their lives. 102,792 are listed as recovered. Those reports follow a briefing from Tulsa Health Department officials on Tuesday, who stressed the importance of contact tracing and asserted that Tulsa is “going in the wrong direction”, pointing to climbing hospitalizations they say have surpassed hospitalization numbers from March, April and July. Officials said most people refuse to provide contact information for close contacts or places they have been. THD recently launched this tool to aid in contact tracing while residents sign up for a COVID test: There is no charge for a COVID test at the Tulsa Health Department. Residents can also call the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-9355 to make an appointment. Officials urged residents to get a flu shot to help keep hospitalizations down. Residents were also urged to self-isolate whilst awaiting their COVID-19 test results, and for the full 14-day quarantine if exposed to a known positive case. Early voting is kicking off for three days in Oklahoma on Thursday, with special accommodations in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tulsa County offered the following information for the one location they are permitting early voting to take place: Given the expected number of voters and the need to social distance, ONEOK Field will be the ONLY early voting location for the November 3 Presidential Election. The centrally located, open-air venue will allow Election Board staff to ensure the success of early voting and the safety of all voters. There will be ample parking available near and around ONEOK Field with accessible parking and entrances available for those voters who need accommodations. Additionally, the League of Women Voters of Tulsa has sponsored free rides on all Tulsa Transit fixed daytime routes on Early Voting Days. Tulsa Transit is also partnering with the Tulsa County Election Board to offer a free shuttle from their location at 555 N. Denver Ave. to ONEOK Field and back. This shuttle will operate in conjunction with Early Voting Day hours and is open to public.
Voters are required to wear masks in Tulsa city limits and all should practice social distancing. Please note absentee ballots cannot be dropped off at ONEOK Field. Because all available Election Board staff members will be needed to facilitate early voting at one large site, the Tulsa County Election Board will not be available for early voting, but will be open for other business including in-person absentee ballot drop-off. In-person absentee ballots must be dropped off no later than 5 p.m. on November 2 and voters must show the same identification required for in-person voting.


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