Governor Kevin Stitt released a statement Saturday afternoon about the increased COVID-19 case numbers reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
The Governor asks Oklahomans to continue to follow CDC guidelines by washing their hands frequently, maintaining distance from others, and wearing a mask when social distancing isn’t possible. The Governor did not mention if the state government will take further action to slow the spread such as a mask mandate or rolling back to previous phases of pandemic response.
“It is clear that this virus continues to spread through rural and urban communities across Oklahoma and the United States.
Throughout the history of our state, Oklahomans have taken pride in caring for our neighbors during times of trouble. Now, more than ever, I am asking each Oklahoman to do the right thing and protect their families, neighbors and those who are most vulnerable.
Keep washing your hands frequently, watch your distance from others, and wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible or visiting indoor public places. You have heard me say these things before, but we need everyone to take these actions seriously. They work.
Watching your distance also means being careful about how long you’re in crowded places and how you gather with your friends and family. You can spread this virus to someone you love even if you aren’t showing symptoms, so please take extra care around family members who are older or have compromised immune systems.
Taking these steps together as a state will allow us to continue to keep our lives operating as close to normal as possible. Oklahomans pulled together back in April so we could safely reopen our economy, and I am asking for that same unified effort once again to slow the spread of this virus and keep Oklahomans safe.”
The State Health Commission Dr. Lance Frye issued the following statement as well.
“Today’s significant rise in COVID-19 case numbers is alarming and we call on all Oklahomans to take immediate action to slow the spread of the coronavirus. We can all work together to keep our friends, family and neighbors safe by limiting gatherings, wearing a mask, washing our hands and social distancing. We have the power to slow the spread, but we all must do our part.
In addition to significant community spread, included in today’s numbers is a backlog resulting from the continued transition from a manual to electronic reporting system at several labs across the state. Today’s number likely also contains some duplicated cases, which will be corrected in tomorrow’s numbers. We have reason to believe that our normal case count would have continued on an upward trajectory without the backlog and duplication. We know the daily case count alone doesn’t tell the full story.
We will continue to look at the 7-day average of cases, percent positivity, hospitalizations and the nature of transmission so we can see the complete picture. The number today adds to a continued upward trend that we are monitoring closely. Additional actions will be taken should this trend continue.
I ask that all Oklahomans stay vigilant in protecting themselves and their loved ones from this highly-contagious virus and we all need to do our part to slow the spread now.”