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Coronavirus Updates: First-Time Jobless Claims Down, Mayors Lose Authority & Meat Industry Gets Help

First-time unemployment numbers have dropped to their lowest level in more than a month.

Fewer than 33,000 Oklahomans filed jobless claims – a decline of 65 percent from the record breaking total of nearly 94,000 the previous week.

The state has paid almost $587 million in total benefits to claimants during the COVID-19 crisis with more than 410,000 filing for unemployment relief.

Officials are also dealing with scam artists with more than 11,000 fraudulent claims filed with thousands more suspected.


A bill taking power away from local officials in a health emergency passed the state House on Thursday.

The measure strips mayors and local officials of the authority to separate people, issue vaccinations and take steps to prevent, manage and contain health threats.

Instead, the bill – now heading to the Senate – would give the governor the power to delegate local officials with certain authorities.

The legislation appears to be coming after conflicts in Oklahoma over local stay-at-home orders stricter than state guidelines.


The State Senate passed a bill Thursday to help the meat industry.

House Bill 2008 allows cattle producers to take processed products directly to the market, allowing virtual inspections and cataloguing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused workforce disruptions for the animal processing sector.

The measure now heads back to the House for consideration.


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