OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As state officials confirmed three cases of novel coronavirus in Oklahoma, leaders say they are encouraging Oklahomans to take precautions.
“We do not want to create a panic or overreact,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday.
At this point, state officials say the three patients are in isolation and that there is no sign of community spread.
“The State of Oklahoma remains calm, steady, and proactive in our response,” said Stitt.
During a news conference, Stitt announced that he was issuing an executive order to state agencies in order to protect the most vulnerable population, the elderly. The executive order calls for state agencies to review and strengthen visitation policies regarding nursing homes, VA centers, and long-term facilities.
Oklahomans are encouraged to use common sense and practice healthy habits.
State officials urge Oklahomans to stay away from ill patients and to frequently wash their hands. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
One day after President Donald Trump announced a travel ban for certain areas of Europe, organizers announced that various events would be postponed.
During the news conference, Stitt said that schools should remain open at this point.
“We are working with schools all across our state to evaluate the developing situation on a day-by-day basis. We want to stress that, at this time, it is important we remain calm, and be judicious in decisions to close schools and businesses. It is the state’s recommendation that schools remain open,” Stitt said.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says that school districts are encouraged to follow the guidelines set out by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. As students and families prepare to travel for spring break, officials say that they should practice social distancing and common-sense hygiene habits.
The virus is mainly spread from person-to-person, and symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure. Officials stress that the most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
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.
Officials stress that you should consult with your health care provider first before going to a hospital for treatment.