OSDH: Oklahoma County resident tests presumptive positive for COVID-19; first in county

Coronavirus
image of a test tube with covid-19 marked positive

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OKLAHOMA COUNTY (KFOR) – The first presumptive positive COVID-19 case in Oklahoma County has been confirmed.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health issued a news release Friday night, confirming that a woman in her 60s who recently traveled to Florida is presumptive positive for COVID-19.

"She is in isolation at home and public health officials have commenced contact investigation. Officials noted the presumptive case is unrelated to other COVID -19 cases in Oklahoma," the news release states.

The first confirmed case of coronavirus in Oklahoma – a Tulsa County man who traveled to Italy – was announced last week. Since then, two other individuals have tested presumptive positive for coronavirus.

That makes four confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma so far. That number does not include the two Utah Jazz players who were confirmed to have COVID-19 after Wednesday night's Oklahoma City Thunder game against the Jazz was suddenly postponed before tip-off, according to the news release.

The World Health Organization has deemed COVID-19 a global pandemic.

President Donald Trump and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday declared a state of emergency related to COVID-19.

"This declaration will release federal funding to address the health crisis. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has not yet been informed what levels of funding will be allocated to Oklahoma. The OSDH continues to follow and implement CDC recommendations related to COVID-19," the news release states.

Materials that are needed to complete COVID-19 tests have been limited in Oklahoma.

"The OSDH recently received 500 additional testing kits that will allow for slightly wider testing parameters. Additional testing kits have been ordered from the CDC, but the quantity received will depend on national supply," the news release states.

Testing parameters may be widened as needed as additional testing kits are received.

OSDH officials stressed the importance of prioritizing testing for individuals who meet CDC guidelines for testing.

Officials also stressed that community members take precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care physician," the news release states. "To protect yourself, please avoid people who are sick, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands."

Primary care physicians can recommend a COVID-19 test, but because of a limited amount of testing materials, they may recommend self-quarantine until symptoms subside or more testing resources become available.

OSDH officials say they have improved their partnerships with health care providers "to broaden screening for more aggressive identification for those who qualify for testing; individuals who have symptoms and exposure to a positive case or travel to areas of geographic spread, including domestic travel," according to the news release.

The virus causes a respiratory infection, resulting in symptoms such as dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and fever. Patients may also exhibit gastrointestinal distress or diarrhea, according to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

The virus is mainly spread from person-to-person, and symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure. Fever, cough and shortness of breath are the most common coronavirus symptoms.

If you do become sick, you are asked to stay away from others. If you have been in an area where the coronavirus is known to be spreading or been around a COVID-19 patient and develop symptoms, you are asked to call your doctor ahead of time and warn them that you might have been exposed to the virus. That way, experts say, they have the ability to take extra precautions to protect staff and other patients.

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