Catherine Sweeney

Health Reporter

Catherine Sweeney joined StateImpact Oklahoma in July 2020, focusing on health reporting.

She grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State University. Catherine has covered local, state and federal government for outlets in Oklahoma, Colorado and Washington, D.C.

Ways to Connect

Oklahoma Health Care Authority

Gov. Kevin Stitt and top state officials held a ribbon cutting Thursday for the newly relocated Public Health Lab and new Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence (OPCIE) in Stillwater, Okla.

Officials announced in October they would be moving the Public Health Laboratory away from Oklahoma City’s biomedical hub to a more rural area for improved focus on rural and animal health.

Mairead Todd / KOSU

KOSU is covering the coronavirus in Oklahoma and how it's affecting our lives. Bookmark this page for the latest updates.


The Trump Administration released its final coronavirus task force document this week. It shows that Oklahoma remains in the top five ranking of two outbreak severity indicators.

CVS Health Newsroom

As recently as Wednesday, Oklahoma health officials were hopeful that the state’s weekly vaccine supply would double. But that hope disappeared Friday, when news broke that the federal stockpile fueling that supply surge is gone.

Thanks to a new policy, low-income Oklahomans will soon have better access to in-patient mental health and addiction services.

Federal guidelines don't allow Medicaid members to receive inpatient services at free-standing psychiatric hospitals, and they cap crisis stabilization beds at 16 statewide. But, that just changed for Oklahoma.

Provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health

When the federal government kicked off Operation Warp Speed, the program to administer vaccines, it allowed states to build their own plans. These plans created priority groups, and then sorted those into phases. For example, Oklahoma’s frontline health care workers who treat COVID-19 patients became the first priority group, and composed Phase one. Phase two includes several groups, such as Oklahomans over the age of 65 and health workers not treating COVID-19.

Some states created hard lines between phases. Not Oklahoma.

Cory Checketts / Unsplash

Oklahoma's coronavirus cases and positivity rate are again on the rise and health experts are again ringing alarm bells about hospitalizations.

Hospitals are nearing the point that will require them to ration care, and health experts are urging Oklahomans to ramp up safety precautions.

"As the positivity rate goes up, hospitalizations follow," said Oklahoma Hospital Association president Patti Davis in a briefing with the Healthier Oklahoma coalition on Tuesday.

She noted that the state’s positivity is at an all-time high.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oklahoma health officials are considering a policy reversal, which would end a new requirement on parents seeking vaccine exemptions for their kids.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The coronavirus. Black Lives Matter activism. A presidential election.

The events of 2020 will continue to ripple into 2021. 

CVS Health Newsroom

As Oklahoma enters the second phase of its coronavirus vaccination program, most residents are still waiting.