COVID-19 coronavirus in Oklahoma

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Following hours of contentious debate, Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted down a proposal that would’ve mandated masks in many schools.

With one week left in the month, Oklahoma has seen more cases in July (14,263) than March, April, May and June combined (13,828).

New cases of COVID-19 increased by 737 on Thursday, representing nearly a three percent increase in total reported cases, with the state's total now at 28,802.

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510 people incarcerated in state and federal prisons have died from COVID-19, according to prison data collected between March 31 and June 6 of this year.

Johns Hopkins University Associate Professor Brendan Saloner says prisoners have a five times higher risk of catching COVID-19 than the overall U.S. population. They’re also more likely to die from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

The Department of Corrections reports 89 prisoners tested positive for COVID-19 at a state prison complex in Lexington.

The first cases were discovered when two prisoners were tested at a hospital earlier this month. It’s unclear if the two prisoners from Lexington Correctional Center were hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms or if they were asymptomatic and sent to the hospital for something unrelated.

When the men’s tests came back positive, the Department of Corrections tested all of the nearly 200 prisoners living in their unit.

New cases of COVID-19 increased by 918 on Wednesday, with the state's total now at 28,065. Oklahoma health officials continue to work through a backlog of cases and state that today's cases total "includes confirmed cases identified as part of the backlog associated with system outages over the past few days."

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Oklahoma City Public Schools students will be in virtual classrooms when school starts up on August 31.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Before University of Oklahoma students can move into their dorms this fall, they must first take a COVID-19 test.

Students living in on-campus housing will be sent a saliva COVID-19 test in the mail that they must self-administer to be allowed to move in on the Norman campus. OU is also working with Greek organizations to have students moving into those houses tested.

The state Health Department has updated its hospital surge plan as COVID-19 cases grow.

The agency is adding 340 more beds across seven hospitals in Oklahoma City and one in Tulsa, if the need arises. The hospitals will be compensated with federal CARES Act money for the surge contracts.

While the number of cases has increased, the hospital surge plan hasn’t been activated yet, as the average length of a hospital stay for COVID-19 patients has declined in Oklahoma.

Millions of Americans are facing the threat of eviction as a federal moratorium that has protected renters during the pandemic is set to expire Friday.

That eviction moratorium, coupled with unemployment assistance established in the CARES Act, has helped some renters stay in their homes.

In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Oklahoma health officials reported that a backlog of 820 new cases of COVID-19 has been added to the state’s total.

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