Yesterday morning, a bipartisan House caucus meeting was convened to receive updates from officials at the State Department of Health on Oklahoma’s response to COVID-19 (attached graphic is from the State Department of Health).
As of right now, there have been 17 confirmed cases of the virus in the state. Yesterday, the Governor officially declared a state of emergency, which will increase resources and support for individuals and organizations. An example is giving small businesses access to federal loans and allowing state agencies to hire additional staff.
In order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for the cancellation of in-person events of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. Additionally, all of us should continue thoroughly washing our hands, practicing social distancing, avoiding touching our faces, covering our faces when sneezing or coughing, and staying at home if we have flu-like symptoms.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a COVID-19 relief package that includes provisions for two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid leave for workers affected by the virus, along with free COVID-19 testing for patients in need of a test. The legislation is expected to pass the U.S. Senate and be signed by the President.
Yesterday afternoon, the Oklahoma State Board of Education authorized that all schools remain closed until April 6th. The State Department of Education has been approved for two federal waivers that will allow meals to continue being served during school closures. These meals will be available at no cost to low-income children and are encouraged to avoid being served in a group setting.
Last night, the City of Lawton has declared a State of Emergency, which will be in place for 30 days. All non-essential activities and meetings that occur on municipal property are cancelled and postponed. I’ve reached out to Lawton municipal leaders and offered any assistance with respect to communicating pertinent information and facts to Lawtonians.
Many of our fellow Oklahomans, whether it’s municipal leaders, medical staff, state employees, and more, are working around-the-clock to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our state. As we adjust our lifestyles, postpone community events, and commit to good hygiene, let us thank and pray for all the folks who are sacrificing their time and energy toward preserving our public health.
The official Coronavirus Call Center number is 877-215-8336, and the website is coronavirus.health.ok.gov.
This is a new website from the State Department of Health with real-time numbers of COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma:
I’ll continue to post updates as the situation evolves. As always, I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and phone at 405-557-7374.