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Coronavirus Updates: OETA Steps In, Unemployment Claims Jump & Stitt Cabinet Member Test Positive

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.


Oklahoma’s jobless rate is soaring amid the coronavirus shutdown.

First time unemployment claims jumped more than 800% to record levels last week, as officials work to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Nearly 18,000 initial claims were filed last week, breaking a record of fewer than 10,000 in January 1991.

Officials say the state’s unemployment trust fund is one of the most solvent in the nation with more than one billion dollars to pay claims.


A member of Governor Kevin Stitt’s cabinet has tested positive for COVID-19.

The governor’s office says State Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration David Ostrowe has the virus and is quarantined at home. Ostrowe hasn’t had contact with Stitt in more than two weeks.

Stitt hasn’t been tested for the virus and has no plans to do so at this time. All staff who may have had contact with Ostrowe have been asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days.


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Michael Cross is the host of KOSU's Morning Edition.
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