Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus In Oklahoma: The Latest

KOSU is continuing to cover the developing story around coronavirus in Oklahoma. Bookmark this page for the latest updates.

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How Tribes And Other Partners In Southeast Oklahoma Are Preparing For The Next Big Drought

Southeastern Oklahoma averages at least 40 inches of rain per year, so its agricultural industry focuses primarily on livestock and timber. But an extended drought in 2011 and 2012 cost Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers more than $2 billion in losses statewide .

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Oklahoma Country Musician Joe Diffie Dead At 61 From COVID-19

Joe Diffie, the blue collar country musician who landed five number one hits in the 1990s, died Sunday following complications after contracting COVID-19. He had announced just two days before that he was undergoing treatment. He was 61.

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Got questions about COVID-19? We've got answers.

Gov. Kevin Stitt's office

Oklahoma now has the capacity to perform 10,000 tests for COVID-19. Oklahoma State University obtained the testing kits.

Another Oklahoman — a Creek County male in his 70s — has died due to COVID-19, bringing the total deaths in the state to eight.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health confirmed Friday that positive cases of the coronavirus in the state now stands at 322, an increase of 74 from Thursday. That's a 29 percent increase in total cases.

Nearly half of Oklahoma's 77 counties are now reporting positive cases of COVID-19, with Caddo, Cherokee, Choctaw, Latimer and Pittsburg counties each now reporting cases.

As coronavirus infections rise across the United States, public health experts widely agree it's time for a drastic step: Every state in the nation should now issue the kind of stay-at-home orders first adopted by the hardest-hit places. And while most states will probably not need to keep the rules in place for months upon months, many health specialists say the lockdowns will need to be kept up for several weeks.

Yet among these same experts, there is debate when it comes to the natural next question: What strategy can be deployed after the lockdowns are lifted?

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, he announced Friday. In a video announcement, Johnson said he has "mild symptoms" of COVID-19, including a fever and "a persistent cough."

Johnson is the first world leader found to be infected with the coronavirus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under self-quarantine after her doctor tested positive for the virus. She has undergone two tests that yielded negative results; a third test is scheduled for early next week.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Governor Stitt's "Safer at Home" policy to curb the outbreak of COVID-19, a US Department of Labor email asking local employment agencies to limit the amount of information released to the public and the State Health Department is withholding much needed medical supplies pending an audit.

Local headlines for Friday, March 27, 2020:

Public television begins educational programing for distance learning, as school buildings are closed for the rest of the school year in Oklahoma.

OETA is partnering with the state Department of Education to broadcast programs for various school subjects and grade levels. The statewide television station will air the shows on OETA World from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting next week.

Teachers and parents are also encouraged to access PBS Learning Media, an online digital curriculum aligning with state and federal academic standards.

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Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

The limited supply of ventilators is one of the chief concerns facing hospitals as they prepare for more COVID-19 cases. In Italy, where hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients in respiratory failure, doctors have had to make difficult life-or-death decisions about who gets a ventilator and who does not.

In the U.S., emergency plans developed by states for a shortage of ventilators include using positive airway pressure machines — like those used to treat sleep apnea — to help hospitalized people with less severe breathing issues.

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