Oklahoma public health officials plead with the public to help curb COVID-19 transmission

Oklahoma public health officials plead with the public to help curb COVID-19 transmission
Doctors Delia Caudillo, right, and Monserrat Castaneda, collect a swab sample during a COVID-19 test at a home in the Venustiano Carranza borough of Mexico City, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) (Rebecca Blackwell)

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma public health officials remain concerned if social distancing and masking isn’t done over the holidays as coronavirus cases continue to increase.

The Tulsa Health Department is asking the public to consider how holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep loved ones safe.

Small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise of COVID-19 cases.

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“The safest way to celebrate is at home and only with the people you live with,” Dr. Bruce Dart said Thursday. “All other activities put you and your family at risk.”

Since Nov. 1, there have been almost 6,000 cases, which is more cases than in any other month, the Tulsa Health Department said.

The Tulsa Health Department reports the 7-day rolling average is 393 new cases every day and if the trend continues, Tulsa County will surpass 5 percent of the population testing positive within 11 days.

Over 2,000 Tulsa County residents have been hospitalized for COVID-19, the Tulsa Health Department said.

“It’s about social distancing, spreading out, staying home, following CDC guidelines, quarantine when you’re exposed,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said Thursday. “I think we got little lax from the 6 months.”

Stitt, who still has no plans to issue an executive order on masks, said it’s up to Oklahomans to help hospitals and health care workers.

“If I could wave my magic wand and make it go away, I would do it,” Stitt told reporters. “I don’t think it’s about magic words. I think it’s about compliance and social distancing.”