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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Governor Kevin Stitt issued an emergency declaration over the weekend as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise.

On Sunday, Stitt issued an executive order declaring an emergency in all 77 counties to provide public health officials, health care providers, state agencies and small businesses support as a result of the national spread of COVID-19.

This emergency declaration allows us to continue to be proactive in our response to the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Stitt. “I want to encourage all Oklahomans to remain calm and make wise choices based on your health and risk level. Pay attention to how you are feeling and stay home if you are sick.”

On March 6, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Oklahoma. The state of Oklahoma now has eight positive cases, including one that was tested Sunday in a private lab.

By declaring an emergency, state agencies may make necessary emergency purchases or hires; small businesses are able to apply for low-interest federal loans; and certain restrictions are temporarily lifted on hospitals and other health care providers in order to treat patients effectively.

To read the full declaration of emergency, click here.