The news is moving quickly. Click here for the latest on the coronavirus in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma has three confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Governor Kevin Stitt held a press conference March 12 to discuss the state of the coronavirus in Oklahoma.
Stitt said there is no community spread in the Oklahoma.
Officials are advising against all cruise travel. Older adults and individuals with chronic illnesses should avoid all non-essential air travel as they are at higher risk.
All Oklahomans are advised to take social distancing precautions such as implementing remote work and avoiding large social gatherings when possible.
Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall says the state capitol will remain open.
The National Basketball Association is suspending its regular season. The hiatus comes as two players on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.
The first player’s test results came back just before the Jazz were set to tip-off against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 11. The affected player was not in Chesapeake Energy Arena, but players from both teams were held in their locker rooms and members of the Jazz were tested for the virus. One of those players was confirmed to have tested positive Thursday morning.
ESPN reports Thunder players and staff will be tested for the virus at the direction of the state department of health. They have been advised to self-quarantine for a period of 24 hours.
The March 11 game was delayed for thirty-five minutes, before arena officials announced the game had been postponed and told the crowd to exit the arena.
Oklahoma Schools Respond to COVID-19:
Oklahoma City Public Schools canceled class and district-hosted activities March 13. The decision will use the CDC-recommended social distancing method to prevent community spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.
The largest school district in the state says they do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19. Oklahoma City Public School officials say the closure will allow teams to complete “deep cleaning of buses and school buildings” moving into Spring Break.
The school district plans to have students return to classes on March 23rd. OKCPS has also canceled all scheduled events and activities on March 12.
Moore Public Schools has also announced it will be closed on March 13, and the Edmond and Tulsa districts have canceled all out-of-state trips through early April.
Mid-Del schools have also closed on March 13 due to a large amount of anticipated absenses. School officials say the closure will not extend the school year. They also say Mid-Del facilities will be closed as they monitor developments of COVID-19.
Several Oklahoma colleges and universities are transitioning to online learning or extending Spring Break due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Both Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma are moving classes online two weeks after spring break - beginning March 23 through April 3. The universities both say there are no known cases of COVID-19 on their campuses.
The University of Tulsa has also moved classes online to implement a new social distancing policy.
Also, the University of Central Oklahoma has extended their spring break another week as the school prepares for their own preventative measures.
The OSSAA has postponed all the state high school basketball tournaments until further notice. They will update the OSSAA website as to when the tournaments will be rescheduled.
State Agencies Responses to COVID-19:
The Oklahoma State Department of Health put out Spring Break travel advisory. Officials recommend people avoid non-essential travel to those countries with a CDC travel advisory - including China, Iran, South Korea and Italy.
State health officials also recommend avoiding travel to Japan if you are an older adult or have any chronic health conditions.
Before traveling for Spring Break, OSDH said to establish a protocol with your employer before you travel in case you return to a situation where quarantine would be necessary. These protocols could include bringing a work laptop and necessary work materials home.
OSDH also recommends focusing on prevention methods when you are traveling during Spring Break.
If you return from a place with travel restrictions and are experiencing flu-like symptoms the OSDH encourages you to self-quarantine for 14 days and to report any concerning symptoms to a health care provider or call the OSDH Call Center at 877-215-8336.
COVID-19 Impacts On Oklahoma Events:
Events across Oklahoma, and affecting Oklahomans, are being canceled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Big 12 men's and women's basketball tournaments were called off March 12.
The Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City has been canceled.
The opening of Oklahoma Contemporary's new home in downtown Oklahoma City has been delayed.
Students already at state basketball tournaments are being sent home.
The Medieval Fair, one of the largest weekend events in Norman, has also been canceled this year.
Cher’s concert at Chesapeake Energy Arena will not proceed tonight.
Michael Buble's April 3 concert at Chesapeake Energy Arena is postponed.
The KISS Farewell Tour concert scheduled at the BOK Center in Tulsa is also being rescheduled.
The Chickasaw Nation has canceled all public events through March 22.
The Mid-South Gravel Bicycle Race slated for Stillwater and Payne County on March 13 and 14 has announced changes for its finish line celebration. More than 3,000 people from all 50 states and several countries were registered to attend. Organizers are offering deferrals for people who want to cancel and they are recommending people who do attend avoid human contact. As of Thursday, most international participants had already canceled.
Oklahoma Business Closures:
Businesses are also responding with closures.
COOP Ale Works, a brewer in Oklahoma City, announced on March 12 that it is closing its taproom out of an abundance of caution.
Guidelines from the CDC:
The Centers for Disease Control said you can protect yourself from COVID-19 by washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds - especially after being in a public area or blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
You can also use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% of alcohol if soap and water are not readily available.
Also, the CDC said to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
For protecting others around you - the CDC recommends staying home if you're sick, unless you are seeking medical care. You also should cover coughs and sneezes, wear a facemask if you're sick and clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces daily.
You can learn more about prevention tips from the CDC here.
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