© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oklahoma Gov. Stitt Not Overly Concerned Despite Surging COVID-19 Cases

Oklahoma Health Commissioner Lance Frye talks at a press conference on July 9, 2020.

With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt addressed the media Thursday afternoon to talk about how the state was dealing with record increases. But, his administration isn't overly concerned with the levels.

While the state's seven-day rolling average for COVID-19 cases peaked Thursday at 565 cases, Stitt said the increases are expected and state leaders will continue to rely on individuals taking the right actions to fight the coronavirus that’s already killed 410 Oklahomans.

"I'm gonna protect our freedom as Oklahomans, but I need your help in this," Stitt said. "Take the personal responsibility to protect yourselves, your family and our most vulnerable."

Those responsibilities include several basic steps the state has encouraged for months.

"Wash your hand frequently, stay home when you’re sick, maintain physical distances and consider wearing a mask in public when maintaining physical distance is not possible," Stitt said.

Stitt reiterated that a mask mandate won't come from the state, but he won't stand in the way when local municipalities do.

During the press conference, the state also unveiled their Color-Coded COVID-19 Alert System for the public and elected officials to easily see each county's risk level. The data is based on the amount of cases per 100,000 in each county on a seven-day rolling average and will be updated weekly.

Asked about students attending in-person classes in the fall, Stitt said he wants it to happen but understands that some parents will opt for some form of distance learning. He said that's why a commitment to rural broadband internet is so important.

In May, Stitt vetoed the Rural Broadband Expansion Act that would have studied the state's Internet access in the state and how to improve it, as well as develop a uniform system statewide. Stitt called the measure unnecessary and redundant.

Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content