OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The same day Governor Kevin Stitt announced he was positive for COVID-19, the state saw the highest number of cases since March with more than 1,000 reported in 24 hours.
Stitt announced he was positive for the virus on Wednesday after taking a test on Tuesday.
On Wednesday morning, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state has had 22,813 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March.
That’s an increase of 1,075 cases over the past 24 hours. It is also the highest single-day increase in cases the state has seen.
According to officials at Fort Sill, a 13-year-old dependent of a service member at the post died Friday evening with COVID-19. It is the first COVID-19-related pediatric death in the state.
Health officials say they have seen a steady incline in cases across the state as more people go out in public and community spread increases.
A rumor claims that the increase in cases is due to the health department including positive antibody test results into the daily coronavirus case numbers. However, health department officials tell KFOR that is not the case.
“We are not combining antibody test results with the molecular tests. To join the two categories would be confusing and misleading for everyone. We are tracking antibody testing separately,” said Rob Crissinger, manager of communications for the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Officials say four additional people have died, bringing the total to 432 deaths connected to COVID-19.
Currently, officials say there are 561 people who are hospitalized with confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19.
According to health department data on Tuesday, officials believe 16,635 Oklahomans have recovered from the virus. Data for Wednesday’s recovered numbers have not yet been released. Although the CDC recommends patients be tested twice to determine if they have recovered, health department officials say they are preserving tests for patients who are sick.
Instead, the Oklahoma State Department of Health identifies a person as recovered if they are currently not hospitalized or deceased and it has been 14 days since the onset of their symptoms or since they were diagnosed.
State officials urge Oklahomans to stay away from ill patients and to frequently wash their hands. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
At this point, Americans are urged to practice ‘social distancing’ by staying in their homes as much as possible and not going out into a crowd.
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.
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