By KRISTI HAYES
The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma continue to increase. As of Wednesday morning there are 164 positive cases in the state. Kay County remains at five confirmed cases.
There are two more additional deaths, both from Oklahoma County, one male in his 70s and one male in his 40s. That brings the number of deaths in Oklahoma to five.
There have been 805 negative test results and 59 hospitalizations due to the coronavirus.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has been working aggressively to establish four satellite testing locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kay and Pittsburg counties.
New counties with cases include Adair, Bryan, Carter, Creek, Delaware, Osage, Pottawatomie and Stephens Counties. Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday ordered non-essential businesses to shut down and directed the elderly and medically vulnerable people to stay indoors until April 30.
Stitt ordered businesses like bars, gyms, hair salons, movie theaters and massage and tattoo parlors to shut down for 21 days in all 19 counties were a positive test has been confirmed.
“We need all Oklahomans to take this really, really seriously,” said Stitt. “If we take no measures at all, the cases will outstrip the capacity in our health care system.”
The governor’s latest order will end all visits to nursing homes and care facilities and suspend all elective surgeries, minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures for 14 days in order to preserve dwindling supplies of protective equipment like gloves, masks and face shields.
He said the state is also working on a plan to designate two major hospitals in the state as exclusively for COVID-19 patients, but he said details were still being finalized.
Stitt said because of a shortage of testing supplies and few tests being administered, he believes the actual number is closer to 500.
“They’re going to get into the thousands,” he warned.
The vast majority of people who contract the virus recover within weeks. It causes only mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but it can lead to more severe illness, including pneumonia, especially in older adults and people with preexisting health problems.
By KRISTI HAYES