Experts Worried About Return Of College Students To Campus

Wednesday, July 29th 2020, 6:11 pm
By: Mallory Thomas

TULSA, Okla. -

On Wednesday, a Hillcrest doctor gave Tulsa's City Council an in-depth update on COVID-19 in Tulsa County.

Dr. Jennifer Clark touched on several topics, from the virus infection rate in Tulsa County to when we might see the effects of the city's mask ordinance. She also expressed concern with the large numbers of students returning to colleges in Oklahoma.

"When we hit 25 which we may be at this week, that's a tipping point and we may need to consider doing things like stay-at-home orders, or at least considering limiting gatherings," said Clark.

Clark is a doctor with Hillcrest Medical Center. She said in Tulsa County, the infection rate of new cases per 100,000 people, in a 7-day period is currently just over 22%. 

"The manifestation of the disease is so broad, the spectrum is so broad, that you have to assume you're infectious and everybody else around you is infectious," said Clark. 

Tulsa City Councilors want to know when Tulsa could see the impact of the mask ordinance that was passed on July 15.

"Typically, a course of illness that we see is lasting upwards of 3-4 weeks and so exhausting a pipeline of people relative to a public health effort put into place," said Clark.

Dr. Clark said she is concerned about college students getting ready to head back to school.

“"I know our three big universities and several of our smaller universities have pre-campus testing, but I have yet to see one they're on campus how is that going to be monitored and how is it going to be handled. It may exist I just haven't seen it yet,” said Clark.

Oklahoma State Health Department said 34,623 Oklahomans have tested positive for the virus and 571,890 have tested negative so far.