Oklahoma Coronavirus News: What happened March 6-20

Tulsa man dies from coronavirus.

Tulsa — As of March 20, there were 49 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oklahoma.

The state government setup a call center that will be staffed 24/7 to answer your questions about the coronavirus. Call 877-215-8336 to speak with an operator.

Still happening? Which Oklahoma events are canceled, suspended or postponed?

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READ UPDATES FROM MARCH 6-20 HERE.

Small Business Administration approves disaster relief funds for Oklahoma

Update 8:35 p.m. March 20

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Friday that the Small Business Association approved all 77 Oklahoma counties for disaster relief funds.

Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for low-interest loans.

🚨🚨🚨GOOD NEWS!🚨🚨🚨 We just got word that small businesses in all 77 Oklahoma counties are approved for low-interest...

Posted by Governor Kevin Stitt on Friday, March 20, 2020

Tulsa health officials ask spring breakers to monitor health, practice social distancing

Update 6:42 p.m. March 20

The Tulsa Health Department is asking those returning from spring break trips to monitor their health closely and practice social distancing for at least 14 days.

“All travelers should monitor their health and practice social distancing for 14 days after returning home. We recognize this is a challenging period for all families, and stress the importance of reducing the potential of exposure in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart

After you arrive home, take the following steps to protect yourself and others:

  • Stay at home. Do not go to work, school or leave your house for 14 days. Discuss your work situation with your employer to determine if you are able to work remotely.
  • Monitor your health. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever (temperature of 100.4°F/38°C or higher). Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Practice social distancing. Avoid close contact with other people for the 14 days. Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet) from family members and others in the home when possible.
  • Do not take public transportation. Do not get into taxis or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places. Limit your activities in public. If you are well and need to run an errand for essential items, be mindful of those around you. If you observe congestion in an aisle, keep moving and wait for it to break apart. Pay attention to where you are in the checkout line and observe social distancing guidelines of staying 6 feet apart. Try to make a list and get what you may need to get you through the length of your voluntary quarantine. Wash your hands before and after any trips.

If you do get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:

  • Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others. If you need essential items, make arrangements with a healthy friend, neighbor or family member to drop off items to your home.

McAlester issues emergency order

Update 5:32 p.m. March 20

The city of McAlester issued an emergency order to stop dine-in eating at restaurants, bars and similar businesses. Most public gathering facilities must also close.

To further protect the citizens of McAlester, an Order Proclaiming Existence of a Civil Emergency has been issued. As of...

Posted by City of McAlester, OK - Government on Friday, March 20, 2020

Owasso closes bars, breweries, dine-ins

Update: 2:37 p.m. March 20

The Owasso City Council is expanding restrictions closing bars, breweries and dine-in restaurants. There will only be drive thru, delivery and curbside.

Gyms and salons will not be open to the public. They will only accept appointments only and are limited to 10 or less people.

There are currently no restrictions on essential stores like grocery, pharmacy or convenience/gas station locations.

Oklahoma State Department Health announces new testing partnership

Update: 1:04 p.m. March 20

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) today announced it has entered into a new public-private partnership with Diagnostic Labs of Oklahoma (DLO) to increase the State of Oklahoma’s capacity for delivering results for COVID-19 tests. As a result of the new partnership, more than 300 test specimens were immediately shipped yesterday to DLO’s facility in Dallas, Texas, for results within the next couple days.

“The Oklahoma State Department of Health appreciates the strengthened partnership with DLO to send COVID-19 test kits to its facilities in Dallas for rapid results,” said Commissioner of Health Gary Cox. “The state is committed to expanding testing and result capacity by building out more public-private partnerships here at home and across the United States. Thanks to action taken at the federal level, we are expecting more supplies to come online in the coming days to support our efforts."

The state’s partnership with DLO will allow current demand for COVID-19 test results to be met within a two- to three-day time frame. The Public Health Laboratory will continue to prioritize its limited in-house supply for delivering results within 24-hours for Oklahoma’s most vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations are identified as follows:

  • Where a cluster of individuals are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as a nursing home.
  • Individuals who are age 60 or older
  • Children or adults who have compromised immune systems

As this new public-private lab partnership expands Oklahoma’s capacity to deliver timely results, it will allow the OSDH, county health departments, hospitals, health care providers and others begin pursuing innovative options for increasing access to COVID-19 testing,Cox said.

49 cases now confirmed in Oklahoma

Update 11:15 a.m. March 20

The Oklahoma State Health Department website now shows 49 cases of coronavirus in the state. There are no new cases reported in Tulsa County.

Jenks announces two first responders being observed for coronavirus

The City of Jenks has an additional first responder being monitored for the COVID-19 virus due to flu-like symptoms. This brings the total to 2 first responders being monitored at this time.

All staff that may have had contact with this employee were notified and provided resources about COVID-19.

Broken Arrow moves to close restaurants, bars on Friday

Broken Arrow closes restaurants and bars

Update 5:38 p.m. March 19: Broken Arrow’s mayor and city council decided Thursday evening to close bars and restaurants beginning Friday night at 11:59 p.m.

Take-out, delivery and drive-thru services can remain open.

The order includes gyms, movie theatres, performance venues, museums and other businesses with public gatherings.

Tulsa Area COVID-19 Response Fund created to help those in need

Update 5:18 p.m. March 18: Tulsa Community Foundation (TCF) and Tulsa Area United Way (TAUW) have established the Tulsa Area COVID-19 Response Fund to provide support for nonprofit organizations that can assist individuals and families experiencing COVID-19 related hardships due to temporary lost income and unplanned expenses.

Jenks limits restaurants to 10 people

Update: 4:47 p.m. March 19: Jenks City Council passed an ordinance Thursday restricting restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffee houses and related businesses to no more than 10 people. All tables must be at least six feet apart.

University of Tulsa moves online for remainder of semester

Update 1:45 p.m. March 19

The University of Tulsa will offer only virtual classes for the remainder of the semester. Students who are away on spring break should not return to campus.

Effective Friday, March 20, at 5 p.m., students will have only restricted access to dormitories and student apartments; Campus Services will send detailed instructions for those who need to retrieve belongings and those who require a waiver to remain in campus housing. All staff will work remotely, with the exception of those few who are needed to support minimal campus operations.

Church comments on Tulsa County COVID-19 death

The Tulsa Health Department confirmed a man in his 50s died from the coronavirus.

Metro Pentecostal church posted about the death on their Facebook page identifying him as Merle Dry and said he worked at ORU over the grounds. ORU confirmed earlier this week that a worker that had NO contact with students tested postive.

This is the first case of community spread in Tulsa.

It is with great sadness that I have to announce our dear Bro Merle Dry made his journey from earth to glory at 8:01pm....

Posted by METRO PENTECOSTAL on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

More cases in Oklahoma

Update: 11:10 a.m. March 19

There are now 44 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

State Superintendent to ask for waiver for state testing

Update 8:54 a.m. March 19

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced the State Department of Education plans to pursue a federal waiver to suspend statewide student assessments for the 2019-20 school year.

Tulsa man dies from COVID-19

Update: 6:52 a.m. March 19

The Tulsa Health Department confirms one man died from COVID-19. The man, in his 50s, tested positive for the virus on the 17th and passed away the 18th.

“It is with great sadness that I confirm that a Tulsa County resident has passed away due to COVID-19,” said Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “This is a tragedy for our community. In these unprecedented times, everyone feels the weight of this loss. COVID-19 has impacted our community on a monumental level, but today I ask you to take a moment to pause and recognize that a family has lost their loved one. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Tulsa County has confirmed 4 cases of COVID-19 to date, with 29 cases statewide. Three Tulsa County cases were travel-associated. The investigation to determine the source of contagion for the fourth case is ongoing. The latest available numbers from the CDC indicate there have been 7,038 confirmed cases and 97 deaths in the U.S.

“We have confirmed the first loss in our community from COVID-19. As a city, we mourn for the loss of our neighbor and we think of his family,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.

A news conference is planned for noon Thursday. FOX23 will air on FOX23 and all digital platforms.

State Is Critically Low On Testing Kits

Update: 5:27 p.m. March 18: Governor Kevin Stitt said Wednesday that Oklahoma is critically low on COVID-19 testing kits.

He said they are pushing the federal government for more tests. State health officials are also working with private labs to address the shortage.

Because of this, the state is only focusing on testing the most vulnerable people and those with severe symptoms.

We are live providing an update on the State's response to COVID-19.

We are live with an update on Oklahoma’s response to COVID-19.

Posted by Governor Kevin Stitt on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

OKC Thunder Players Test Negative For Virus

Update: 5:14 p.m. March 18: The Oklahoma City Thunder confirmed that all players and staff who were tested for COVID-19 received negative results.

The team said it did not use state resources to pursue testing.

Both Oklahoma Senators Vote Against Coronavirus Relief Package

Update: 4:49 p.m. March 18: Oklahoma Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe both voted against the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that passed the House last week and was approved by the Senate Wednesday in a 90-8 vote.

Lankford went on Facebook Live to say he took issue with how the mechanism behind the paid sick leave portion of the bill worked. Watch his video here:

Posted by Senator James Lankford on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Mass suspended in Tulsa

UPDATE: 12:24 p.m. March 18

Tulsa diocese suspended all public masses from Friday March 20 through April 8th.

12 new cases confirmed in Oklahoma

UPDATE: 11:20 a.m. March 18

Tulsa Health Department confirms new case of coronavirus in Tulsa County. A man in is 50s tested positive on March 17. THD is still investigating his case. Originally the THD website implied it was community spread, that is NOT CONFIRMED.

UPDATE: 11:07 a.m. March 18

12 new positive cases confirmed in the state, including the first juvenile case of the coronavirus.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) call center received more than 1,000 calls Tuesday. In addition, the webpage dedicated to the Oklahoma COVID-19 response had 155,710 views.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) recommends daycares and child care centers remain open to serve their community, increase sanitization practices and remain vigilant in providing hygiene protocols to children and employees, follow best practices on social distancing and sanitization, and remain flexible while maintaining child safety as the top priority.

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. March 18

WATCH: President Trump & coronavirus task force news conference:

ORU confirms worker on campus tested positive

UPDATE 10:48 a.m. March 18

Oral Roberts University learned an employee of a firm contracted to maintain grounds on campus tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). His work did not include student interaction and he was not in student housing or the cafeteria. The shop area is closed and all machinery taken off-line for a thorough cleaning. Those he worked with have been sent home by the contracted firm.

Broken Arrow suspends utility cutoffs

UPDATE: 9:50 a.m. March 18

Stitt asks Oklahomans to follow CDC guidelines

Update: 3:55 p.m. March 17: Gov. Kevin Stitt said Tuesday he issued an executive order strongly recommending that Oklahomans follow all CDC safety guidelines over the next 15 days.

That includes avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and postponing any discretionary travel.

Watch the news conference here:

Live Update on Oklahoma's Response to COVID-19

We are live providing an update on the State’s response to COVID-19.

Posted by Governor Kevin Stitt on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

State Capitol employee tests positive

Update: 2:37 p.m. March 17 - The Oklahoma Department of Health said Tuesday that one employee at the state Capitol has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Officials said the legislature is working with a private lab to administer tests because the state health department only has about 350 test kits on hand.

City of Tulsa closes bars, makes restaurant changes

Update: 12:15 p.m. March 17

In a news conference today Mayor Bynum said under a civil emergency he is closing some businesses:

  • Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other places of public accommodation offering food and beverage are closed for dine-in customers and guests and for on-premises consumption, are restricted and limited to curbside, drive-thru, takeout and delivery services, excluding institutional or in-house food cafeterias that serve residents, employees, and clients of businesses, child care facilities, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.
  • The following commercial establishments and places of public accommodation shall be and are hereby closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public:
  1. Bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, clubs, and other places of public accommodation offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.
  2. Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on premises consumption.
  3. Theaters, cinemas, indoor and outdoor performance venues, and museums.
  4. Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas.
  5. Amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities.

FULL UPDATE:

Situation Update

To date, the State and Tulsa Health Departments have confirmed three residents in Tulsa County have tested positive with Coronavirus-COVID-19 from travel. – one has already recovered. As with the flu, the COVID-19 virus is spread from person-to-person contact. With confirmed cases in Tulsa and the weekend announcement of community spread in Oklahoma, we need to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions by following basic health tips on hand washing and social distancing. Though most recover from this illness, COVID-19 is more severe in elderly populations and in those with underlying medical conditions.

City of Tulsa

Essential City operations continue, but with limitations. Authorities, Boards and Commissions (ABCs) and the Tulsa City Council have postponed all meetings this week. The City is getting more direction from the State next week on how to best carry out these duties virtually. The City’s Household Pollutant Collection Facility will be closed for the next two months and fees will no longer be collected for the Green Waste Facility.

Mayor Bynum issued a civil emergency declaration on Monday, which gives officials the authority to move expeditiously from a policy and purchasing perspective during the COVID-19 threat. Mayor Bynum also updated his executive order from Saturday and is limiting gatherings at all City-led and City-owned facilities to 50 people based on the latest CDC guidelines.

To help better limit the spread of COVID-19 in municipal courts, access is now limited to defendants, attorneys, interpreters, family members/friends who are there to interpret, and others requiring court access by necessity or law. For those who want to pay tickets, utilities and get permitting, the City is encouraging the use of its E-Services, which can be accessed at www.cityoftulsa.org/residents/payments-and-e-services/.

Mayor Bynum also announced TMUA (Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority) and the Water & Sewer Dept. are issuing a water cutoff moratorium, which means the City will not perform any new water meter shutoffs. The City is making every effort to make continued water service available to citizens, as well as restore service to those citizens currently without water. To do this, citizens should contact 311 to communicate a request to restore water service or confirm water service is still needed at a location.

The City, County and providers are looking at national examples and local resources to come up with short and long term plans to serve our most vulnerable Tulsans and those experiencing homelessness. The City has put additional sanitation measures in place and is in active conversation with the Tulsa Health Department.

For City employees, Mayor Bynum has issued a hiring and travel freeze. Employees who can are now working from home. The City has also been working closely with City Medical on employee protocols in regard to illness. City employees who get exposed to COVID-19 are covered by worker’s compensation. Employees working remotely will continue to be paid as usual, as well as those who miss work due to exposure and quarantine, as covered by Mayor Bynum’s emergency revision that expands Hazardous Conditions Pay.

To date, three City employees have entered the COVID-19 testing protocol and are quarantined at home after possible exposure. Current impacted employees are from the Tulsa Fire Department, Tulsa Police Department and the Water and Sewer Department. The City is working to ensure those employees’ working environments are being properly cleaned and sanitized. The health of every employee is being constantly monitored, and employees who exhibit any symptoms of a respiratory illness are being sent home.

Business Impacts

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 are now being asked to submit their economic injury impacts through a survey that can be found at www.damage.ok.gov. The survey will allow the state to capture critical information on small businesses experiencing negative impacts, and will ultimately pave the way for the state qualifying for Small Business Association (SBA) disaster assistance.

All major attractions in Tulsa County have agreed to close indefinitely. Attractions include; Philbrook, Gilcrease Museum, Discovery Lab, Tulsa Zoo, Oklahoma Aquarium, Gathering Place, River Parks, Botanical Gardens, Historical Society, AHHA Tulsa, Woody Guthrie Museum, and Tulsa Garden Center. Open space at River Parks and Gathering Place will stay open.

As businesses use delivery and pick-up options and close their lobbies, the City is allowing businesses to utilize a curbside pick-up parking space in front of their restaurant and will waive the fee so we can institute temporary pick-up location for restaurants. Businesses will need to visit www.cityoftulsa.org to fill out the form to receive a curbside pickup location.

School Updates

Beginning March 23, TPS will offer a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch to all of its students each weekday, which includes all TPS locations and the students of its partner locations. A formal distribution plan and pickup locations will be available on the TPS website no later than Friday, March 20.

Department Updates

Tulsa Fire - Tulsa Fire personnel are working normal hours at all fire stations and headquarters. TFD facilities are limiting public access to help reduce the spread of the virus. A TFD internal Coronavirus taskforce is working closely with the medical director to reduce exposure to responders. TFD will continually monitor EMS calls, inventory, and department status. The most important thing for the citizens to know is this, all 42 frontline apparatus have been reinforced with additional personal protective equipment (PPE) making certain that firefighters have the recommended exposure protection to ensure that our citizens receive the response and care they deserve.

Tulsa Police - The Tulsa Police Department is dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of Tulsa. Currently, Tulsa Police has closed the Records Division to the public. As TPD closely monitors the COVID-19, officers will continue to perform all essential duties including responding to calls for service. Should the situation worsen, we have planned a measured response to ensure your police department will maintain its patrol staffing levels. The Tulsa Police Department has a system in place to monitor essential employee absenteeism and thus far have seen no notable differences from our normal staffing levels. If you need to make a police report and there is no suspect present, please consider using our online reporting system or a TPD Telephone Reporting Officer. Both of these will start the investigative process the same as an officer responding to your home or business, for more information go to www.tulsapolice.org. However, if you need immediate assistance, don’t hesitate to call 911 for Police, Fire, or Medical.

Tulsa County – On Monday, County Clerk Michael Willis announced plans that the areas of his office that conduct business on behalf of the county (Payroll, Accounting, Financial Services and others), located on the east side of the 1st floor of the County Administrative Building, will only be accessible to County Clerk’s office employees moving forward. Additionally, the County Clerk has contacted its regular customers and asked that they refrain from visiting the office unless necessary and continues to ask that citizens conduct their business via phone, email, or postal mail as much as possible.

Tulsa County Presiding District Court Judge William LaFortune also shared yesterday an Emergency Joint Order from the Supreme Court of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals instructing all district courts to follow new procedures to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The County continues to constantly monitor this evolving situation and are relying on the guidance of the Tulsa Health Department and the CDC to help make numerous decisions that impact the operations of the County as well as the wellbeing of its employees and the public they serve.

Basic Health Tips Longstanding basic health tips can go a long way to help prevent the spread of the virus.

For more information, visit: www.tulsa-health.org/COVID19

WATCH update:

New cases confirmed

Update 11:05 a.m. March 17

Update 10:30 a.m. March 17

President Trump and coronavirus task force give update:

Owasso to declare civil emergency

Update: 10:54 a.m. March 17

The Owasso City Council is considering adopting a Declaration of Civil Emergency related to community spread of COVID-19 that would be signed into effect by Mayor Chris Kelley at the regular meeting of the Owasso City Council Tuesday night.

The Declaration of Civil Emergency will institute new community measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Owasso. The changes are the result of recommendations from the Tulsa County Health Department (TCHD), the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSHD) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Effective immediately upon signage of the Declaration of Civil Emergency:

1. All events or gatherings of fifty (50) people or more, in or on a City-owned or City-operated facility or property, are banned, until at least April 14, 2020, when the pandemic emergency will be reassessed; and

2. All special event permits, issued under the authority of Part 11, Chapter 3, Special Event Permitting, and revocable permits with projected attendance of fifty (50) people or more, are revoked, and as of this date, no further such special event permits will be issued and no such special events may be held in or on a City-owned or City-operated facility or property until at least April 14, 2020, when the pandemic emergency will be reassessed.

3. The following City of Owasso facilities will remain open for individual access, however all public and private gatherings, meetings, and events of fifty (50) people or more, are postponed and/or cancelled until the expiration of this emergency declaration:

  • Owasso City Hall
  • Owasso Community Center
  • Owasso Fire Departments
  • Owasso Public Works Facilities
  • Owasso Police Department
  • Owasso Parks* and Recreation (facilities and events)
  • Owasso Support Services
  • Bailey Ranch Public Golf Club

Old Central (109 North Birch)

* Park Patrons are highly encouraged to use discretion in all parts of the park facility playgrounds and open spaces, when crowded conditions exist.

All Oklahoma public schools closed through April 6

Update: 4:57 p.m. March 16: The Oklahoma State Department of Education voted Monday to close all public schools in the state through April 6.

Cherokee Nation suspends casino, hotel operations

Update: 3:48 p.m. March 16 - The Cherokee Nation announced it will suspend all operations at Cherokee Nation Entertainment casinos and hotels, including Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

This order begins at 11:59 p.m. March 16 and will remain in effect through March 31.

Officials said no employee will go without a paycheck.

Tulsa Public Schools to close through April 3

Update: 3:07 p.m. March 16 - Tulsa Public Schools announced Monday all schools will be closed through April 3 in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

District offices will remain open Tuesday, and will then close starting Wednesday.

Employees are asked to anticipate a longer closure beyond April 3.

We love our students and team and are deeply dedicated to keeping everyone safe and well. Team Tulsa continues to work...

Posted by Tulsa Public Schools on Monday, March 16, 2020

Civil emergency declared in Tulsa

UPDATE: 12:23 p.m. March 16

Mayor Bynum signed a Civil Emergency declaration due to the coronavirus.

Three city employees, a police officer, fire fighter and one from the water department are being monitored.

Tulsa County Commissioners declared a state of emergency for Tulsa County.

WATCH LIVE UPDATE:

Two new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Oklahoma and Canadian counties

UPDATE 11:16 a.m. March 16

Two new cases confirmed in Oklahoma. One is in Oklahoma County and one is in Canadian County.

Mayor signs COVID-19 Emergency Declaration for City of Broken Arrow

Update 10:28 a.m. March 16

  • The City of Broken Arrow has issued an Emergency Declaration due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The proclamation is effective immediately.
  • While there is currently no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in the City of Broken Arrow, City officials are following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Events of 50 people or more in City facilities are prohibited and special events permits issued for events of 50 people or more are revoked until further notice.

“The City of Broken Arrow believes it is important to follow the CDC guidelines and err on the side of caution even though no one has been diagnosed yet in Broken Arrow,” said Mayor Craig Thurmond.

Eighth case of coronavirus confirmed

Update 8:29 p.m. March 15:

Governor Kevin Stitt today announced he issued an executive order declaring an emergency in all 77 counties to provide public health officials, health care providers, state agencies and small businesses support as a result of the national spread of COVID-19.

“This emergency declaration allows us to continue to be proactive in our response to the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Stitt. “I want to encourage all Oklahomans to remain calm and make wise choices based on your health and risk level. Pay attention to how you are feeling and stay home if you are sick.

On March 6, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Oklahoma. The state of Oklahoma now has eight positive cases, including one that was tested in a private lab.

By declaring an emergency, state agencies may make necessary emergency purchases or hires; small businesses are able to apply for low-interest federal loans; and certain restrictions are temporarily lifted on hospitals and other health care providers in order to treat patients effectively.

To read the full declaration of emergency, click here.

State of Emergency declared in Oklahoma City

Update 5:30 p.m. March 15:

During a press conference Sunday, Oklahoma City officials declared a state of emergency after confirming the first case of community spread in the state.

They also banned gatherings of 50 people are more and are asking people to stay at home.

Update 12:16 p.m. March 15:

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced Sunday three more people have tested positive for a new coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the state total to seven. Two other people tested positive, but they were out-of-state residents and are separate from the state total, the health department said.

The new cases are in Cleveland, Payne and Tulsa counties.

Fourth case of coronavirus confirmed in Oklahoma

Update 3:34 p.m. March 14:

Mayor Bynum held a press conference giving the latest updates on COVID-19.


Fourth case of coronavirus confirmed in Oklahoma

Update 9:47 p.m. March 13: The Oklahoma State Department of Health updated its website confirming that there are now four cases in the state.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt says the case is the first in the Oklahoma City area.


City of Tulsa won’t take action to stop public events

Update 12:15 p.m. March 13: Tulsa Health Department, City of Tulsa and Tulsa County officials held a news conference at noon Friday and reaffirmed that there is not a risk of public spread at this time.

Mayor G.T. Bynum said the city will not be taking action to stop public events.

There were 37 pending tests for coronavirus in the state as of Friday morning.

Boston Avenue UMC will be closed until after Easter

Update 9:50 a.m. March 13: Boston Avenue United Methodist Church announced it will be closed effective March 13 through April 14 -- including Easter.

There will be no in-person worship, classes, or meetings.

Holland Hall to close for two weeks

Update 8:57 p.m. March 12:

Holland Hall will move to a remote learning plan for two weeks after spring break (March 23-April 3). The district says this is not required by the Tulsa Health Department, but they believe it’s the best decision for their students.

They made this decision based on:

- Safety and convenience for family

- A spring break travel survey showed that there could possibly be exposure.

They want to give teachers the time to properly plan lessons. If you have technology needs or concerns, the schools says to get in touch with your child’s branch head.

Tulsa’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 has recovered

Update 7:23 p.m. March 12: The Tulsa Health Department said Thursday night that Tulsa’s first positive case of COVID-19 has recovered. They said the person had two negative tests and that is an indicator of recovery.

👍👍👍Some good news: Tulsa Health Department epidemiologists report that Tulsa's first positive COVID-19 case has recovered. This individual has had two negative tests, which is the indicator of recovery.

Posted by Tulsa Health Department on Thursday, March 12, 2020

Muskogee Public Schools will close Friday

Update 6:14 p.m. March 12: School officials say they will close Friday to disinfect the buildings as a precaution.

Tulsa Community College extends spring break, online classes will continue

Update 5:06 p.m. March 12: To provide the space and time for this continued response planning, the president is extending Spring Break an additional week for students in all in-person classes and off-site clinical experiences.

They are making time for staff and faculty to prepare so they can quickly change services and teaching delivery methods if need be.

This means all in-person classes are canceled the week of March 23 (March 23-29), and all faculty and staff are expected to participate in this planning week.

Fully online classes will continue as normally scheduled. All on-campus services will remain open; only in-person/face-to-face classes are canceled.

Additionally, as of today, all TCC-related student and employee travel, out-of-state or international, has been canceled until further notice. In-state travel is still allowed at this time.

Gov. Kevin Stitt, state officials announce third case in Oklahoma

Update 1:00 p.m. March 12: Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt held a news conference Thursday with state officials to give new details on the coronavirus situation in the state.

The state’s health commissioner said there are three cases of coronavirus in Oklahoma as of Thursday afternoon -- not including the two Utah Jazz players who tested positive. Utah will count them as cases in their state.

Altus Air Force Base confirmed an active-duty airman is undergoing treatment following a presumptive positive test for COVID-19. It’s believed the airmen contracted the virus after returning from leave in Seattle.

The state is advising against travel and asking schools to take appropriate precautions.

More local sports teams postpone events

Update 12:26 p.m. March 12: Several sporting events around the country and in Oklahoma are canceling and postponing events due to coronavirus.

OSSAA postponed all activities, USL including FC Tulsa is postponing its season for 30 days, and the Big 12 Conference Tournament is canceled.

Update 10:06 a.m. March 12: Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tested positive for coronavirus the day after his teammate Rudy Gobert tested positive in Oklahoma City.

ESPN reports Gobert had been “careless” in the locker room with teammates and their belongings.

University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State moves in-person classes online

Update 9:25 a.m. March 12: The University of Oklahoma is moving all in-person classes on its Norman campus to an online learning environment for the two weeks following Spring Break beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3.

The University will stay open, but all University-related events scheduled between March 14 and April 5 are suspended with some exceptions.

In-person classes are planned to continue on OU-Tulsa and OUHSC campuses.

Oklahoma State University announced Thursday they’ll also be moving classes online. We’re working to get more details.

NBA Season Postpone After Jazz Player Tests Positive for COVID-19

Update 10:53 p.m. March 11: The NBA’s season is postponed indefinitely after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19 in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

The Jazz was supposed to play the OKC Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena but the game was abruptly delayed moments before tip-off.

League officials confirmed a Jazz player tested positive for the virus.

Tulsa Tech Student Had Contact With Confirmed COVID-19 Case

Tulsa Technology Center confirms a student at the Health Sciences Center had patient contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in Tulsa. Officials said the student works at an urgent care facility and was wearing a mask at the time of contact.

The contact was deemed low-risk by the Tulsa Health Department and Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Read the full statement below:

"Last Friday we were notified by an adult HSC student that they had patient contact with Tulsa’s first confirmed coronavirus case. The student works part-time at a local urgent care facility. The student and patient were both wearing masks when contact was made.
Tulsa Technology Center
According to the Tulsa Health Department and Oklahoma State Department of Health the contact was deemed low-risk. They advised that the student was wearing the proper personal protective equipment, with no breach.
Tulsa Technology Center
Per Centers for Disease Control, low risk contact cases can go about their daily activities.
Tulsa Technology Center
Now that coronavirus has reached Tulsa with a confirmed case, we would like to take a moment to reassure you that Tulsa Tech's Safety Team has a plan in place. As an extra precaution, we are directing district cleaning crews to perform additional sanitizing in high touch areas.
Tulsa Technology Center
Our District leadership is aware of the discussion related to the coronavirus and has an ongoing dialogue internally about the issue as it relates to our partner schools. Student health and safety remains a priority for Tulsa Tech and we are continuing to carefully monitor the full scope of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Here at Tulsa Tech we continually evaluate our practices and work to improve keeping our students and staff safe, healthy and secure. We are actively working with the Tulsa Health Department (THD) and Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency (TAEMA) to stay updated on the status and spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Tulsa Technology Center
We take this potential health issue seriously; we are continuing to monitor each campus for outbreaks and are regularly disinfecting schools during and after school hours. In any situation involving disease control, Tulsa Tech will follow the recommendations and guidelines set forth by the CDC, Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Tulsa Health Department.
Tulsa Technology Center
In the meantime, we continue to stress the importance of frequent hand washing and general best practices for cold and flu season to our students and staff, as has previously been recommended by Tulsa Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Tulsa Technology Center
Look for updates @ tulsatech.edu/safety-security"
Tulsa Technology Center

Update 12:51 p.m. March 11: Tulsa’s Holland Hall canceled classes through Friday, March 13 after they were told several people in their community had been in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

University of Tulsa moves classes online, cancels on-campus athletic events

Update 12:31 p.m. March 11: The University of Tulsa announced Tuesday that one of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tulsa County is a family member of a student.

School officials decided to implement a social distancing policy that will move all classes online for an undetermined amount of time beginning on Wednesday. Students who can go home are encouraged to do so and remain off campus until April 5.

Athletic events scheduled between March 11 and March 14 are canceled or postponed as a precaution.

Those who choose to stay off campus will receive instructions.

This includes University School on campus.

Spring break will not be affected.

Email sent from University of Tulsa
Email sent from University of Tulsa

Update 11:31 a.m. March 10: The Oklahoma State Health Department told FOX23 that 26 passengers from Oklahoma who are disembarking from the “Grand Princess” cruise ship in California are being monitored for coronavirus.

The “Grand Princess” cruise ship is docked in Oakland and being checked after 21 of its 3,500 passengers and crew on board tested positive for coronavirus on board.

The Tulsa Health Department says those Oklahomans showing symptoms will stay in California and those who don’t will be brought back to the state and self-quarantine for 14 days

Second positive case of coronavirus confirmed in Tulsa County

Update 11:00 a.m. March 10: The Tulsa Health Department says a new positive case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Tulsa County.

That brings the number of confirmed cases in Oklahoma to two.

The new case is a woman in her 20′s who recently traveled to Italy, but has no known connection to the first positive case found in the county.

State Health Department waiting for results on 10 new cases of coronavirus in Oklahoma

Update 12:00 p.m. March 9: The Oklahoma State Health Department told FOX23 they are waiting on results to come back on 10 new potential cases of coronavirus.

Testing can now be done in Oklahoma City so testing is expected to take less time than usual.

Eight others have been tested so far but results came back negative. Tulsa County had the state’s first positive case announced on March 6.

Tulsa Health Dept. shares ways the public can help

Update 5:45 p.m. March 6: The Tulsa Health Department confirmed the state’s first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Friday. They are working to ID and test those who may have been in contact with the patient. They said the case is related to travel from Italy.

“Infection control and isolation protocols are already in place to prevent the spread of illness in Oklahoma,” said Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “Our dedicated team of epidemiologists and emergency preparedness and response staff routinely operate under these protocols to prevent the spread of illness in Tulsa County. Our response plans are robust and scalable, and we are prepared to protect the health of our community residents.”

THD shared these ways in which the public can help prevent the virus from spreading:

  • Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Help young children do the same.
  • Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are 60 and older or have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or a weakened immune system.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands). Healthy individuals do not need masks; they are reserved for those who are ill to prevent the spread of germs and health care workers.
  • Face masks should only be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The purpose of a face mask is to prevent droplets from sneezing and coughing from becoming airborne.
  • Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. For more information, view the CDC update here.

Tulsa Regional Chamber is monitoring the situation

Update 5:14 p.m. March 6: Officials with the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce said Friday they are monitoring the situation after state health officials confirmed one case of the coronavirus in Tulsa County.

“We are monitoring this developing situation very closely. Like many other chambers nationwide, we are collecting COVID-19 (coronavirus) information on our web site to serve as a resource for our members and the wider community. Situations like this have the potential to significantly impact business and tourism, and by extension quality of life, so we stand ready to assist our medical professionals in sharing information, and to help local businesses and their employees prepare and respond as needed.”
Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber

One case confirmed in Tulsa

Updates 4 p.m. March 6: Officials confirmed one case of coronavirus in Tulsa on Friday.

The patient is in quarantine and recently returned from a trip to Italy.

The Tulsa Health Department established a phone bank to answer calls from the community. Operators will be available until 7 p.m. Friday at 918-582-9355. They have not said when or if the lines will reopen after that.

The Oklahoma Department of Health also setup a phone bank. It can be reached Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 877-215-8336.

Coronavirus Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Gov. Stitt confirms first case of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. Follow this story for the latest updates: https://bit.ly/2VY5cZI

Posted by FOX23 News on Friday, March 6, 2020

Stitt, Bynum plan Friday news conference in Tulsa

Update 2:28 p.m. CST March 6: Gov. Kevin Stitt will hold a news conference in Tulsa with Mayor G.T. Bynum and health department officials on Friday.

Stitt say coronavirus risk is low in Oklahoma

Update March 5: Gov. Kevin Stitt said the risk for coronavirus spreading in Oklahoma is low in Oklahoma during a news conference on Thursday afternoon.

Stitt and health officials updated the situation about the state’s preparations for the potential threat of coronavirus (COVID-19).

There have been more than 95,000 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide and more than 3,200 deaths.

However, there have been no such cases confirmed in Oklahoma. The state health department is tracking test results online. Five individuals tested negative for the virus. Two more are pending.