THD Gives COVID-19 Update, How It's Helping Schools With Reopening Decisions

Tuesday, August 4th 2020, 4:48 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

Tulsa County -

The Tulsa Health Department updated the public on Tuesday about their response to COVID-19, including what they're doing to help schools make reopening decisions.

The Tulsa Health Department reported 261 new cases, which is up from Monday but lower than the peak last week.

Dr. Bruce Dart says because of a backlog at labs around the state, it's hard to get a perfect reflection of the cases day-to-day, but labs are catching up and they should know more about the trends in the next 7 to 10 days.

School districts in the county are also preparing for back-to-school during the pandemic and Dr. Dart says, in his opinion, virtual learning is the best option going forward.

Tulsa Public Schools is one district following that advice and will be doing distance learning for the first 9 weeks of the school year and then re-evaluate.

Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist says the school board approved her recommendation last night to hold school virtually, something they did not want to have to do.

But after meeting with health officials, she says they feel it is the best way to keep students and teachers safe.

Dr. Gist says if Tulsans follow CDC guidelines, everyone wears a mask, we can see changes in our numbers.

"If we started today, and we really worked hard, what Dr, Redfield at the CDC said is that 4 to 8 weeks we could see an absolute turnaround.So that would mean that we could be back potentially in person and not in hybrid for that second quarter,” said Dr. Gist.

Some other surrounding districts in Tulsa County like Broken Arrow, Owasso, and Union will start with in-person learning with virtual options available.