COVID-19 coronavirus in Oklahoma

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Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma wheat farmers are about eight weeks away from their main harvest season, which takes place in June and early July. 

 

Dr. Kim Anderson, cooperative extension crop marketing specialist with Oklahoma State University, said the price of wheat is rising. But he said farmers could face challenges getting wheat harvested, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Oklahoma State University

KOSU is continuing to cover the developing story around coronavirus in Oklahoma. Bookmark this page for the latest updates.

Acute Disease Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health

Seven more Oklahomans have died due to COVID-19, increasing the state's death toll to 30.

The deaths reported Wednesday include:

Metropolitan Library System Special Collections

In a vote to close Oklahoma’s schools earlier this month, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister called the decision “historic.”

And it was an unprecedented action. In order to find a time of mass school closures statewide, you’d have to go back more than 100 years. 

The state of Oklahoma is expected to declare a revenue failure for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Board of Equalization is meeting soon to make the declaration, allowing lawmakers to tap into the Rainy Day Fund which has about $806 million in it.

State officials blame falling oil prices, delaying tax payments until July and closed businesses from the coronavirus pandemic which cuts into sales taxes and raises unemployment.

Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson says he doesn’t expect agency cuts or furloughs as a result of the revenue failure declaration.

The Oklahoma Universal Service Fund helps schools, public libraries and rural non-profit medical providers pay for internet access. Because of a Federal Communications Commission waiver last week, the Oklahoma fund wants that service to be more widely available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brandy Wreath directs the fund and says that sites can also apply for extra bandwidth if they’re concerned about an increase in users from the general public.

Governor Kevin Stitt and Attorney General Mike Hunter are giving police advice on how to avoid contracting coronavirus and prevent others from spreading it.

The guidance includes a disclaimer that the governor and attorney general are not calling for dangerous criminals to be released from jail, but right now they say it is better for fewer people to be in jails and prisons.

(Chelsea Stanfield/ KOSU Radio)

This post was updated on March 31, 2020.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people live, locally and around the world. It has also changed the way journalists gather data and voices, often weighing the risk to get an in-person interview and whether it's worth possible exposure. That's where technology has aided us.

Here at KOSU, we've been working with individuals to record their own experiences of self-quarantine or social distancing in an audio diary format using their cellphone.

Gas prices are dropping — to less than $1 per gallon in a few locations — but most Americans aren't supposed to go anywhere. That's the irony of the coronavirus lockdown.

The national average price for a gallon of gas is now $1.997, according to AAA, and it's expected to drop further in the next few weeks — to $1.75 or even lower.

UPDATED 3:04 PM ET

As reproductive rights activists warn that some patients seeking abortions are being turned away, a federal court has ruled that an order suspending abortions in Texas during the coronavirus pandemic can stand - at least for now.

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