Gov. Stitt Gives Update On Oklahoma's Coronavirus Response

Mar 22, 2020

Oklahoma has supply of personal protective equipment to last for 9.3 days. Governor Kevin Stitt and Secretary of Health and Human Services Jerome Loughridge made the announcement in a press conference Sunday evening.

Also announced was increased testing capacity. Dr. Kayse Shrum, Oklahoma's Secretary of Science and Innovation announced that in a new collaboration with the labs at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University that by the end of the week the state will be testing as many as 10,000 people.

Shrum said that this increase in testing will increase the number of positively identified cases but will also allow the state to get a better handle on the crisis and more accurately deploy medical resources such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.

Gov. Stitt said he has also set up a task force that is charged with assessing the state's medical capacity including counting the amount of personal protective equipment, ventilators and ICU beds so that resources can be appropriately deployed when the time comes.

In response to a question from KOSU about how rural Oklahoma hospitals that have less access to ICU beds and ventilators are being prepared, Secretary Loughridge said that while the focus has been on Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the state is in daily communication with rural providers in an effort to assess equipment and capabilities.

Loughridge also said state personnel including epidemiologists have been repurposed to focus on rural health departments to increase the state's preparedness.

The Govenor also announced that this week four new mobile testing sites will open. In the press conference, he said new sites will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Ponca City and McAlester.