OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After leaders with the Oklahoma State Board of Education voted to close schools for the rest of the school year, Oklahoma health officials are telling residents to continue practicing social distancing to slow the spread of the illness.
On Wednesday morning, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state currently has 164 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The patients are in the following counties:
- Adair - 2
- Bryan -1
- Canadian – 5
- Carter- 1
- Cleveland – 27
- Creek - 5
- Custer – 3
- Delaware- 1
- Garvin – 2
- Grady- 1
- Jackson -1
- Kay – 5
- Mayes- 1
- McClain -1
- Muskogee -1
- Noble -2
- Oklahoma – 55
- Osage - 1
- Pawnee – 7
- Payne -3
- Pontotoc – 1
- Pottawatomie - 1
- Stephens - 1
- Tulsa – 27
- Wagoner – 3
- Washington – 3.
According to recent date, that is a 50% increase from Tuesday's numbers.
So far, officials say five Oklahoma patients have died and 59 others have been hospitalized because of the virus. In all, around 3% of known cases have died and nearly 36% of known cases have been hospitalized in the state.
Officials say the latest deaths occurred in Oklahoma County. The patients included a man in his 70s and a man in his 40s.
According to health department data, the patients range in age from less than 1-year-old to 91-years-old. Three of the patients are children.
In all, 95 of the confirmed cases are 50-years-old or older.
However, health officials say there is a high incidence of cases in the 18 to 49-year-old age group. People of all age groups are asked to stay home and practice social distancing.
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.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in China late last year and has since spread to locations across the globe, including the United States.
While the full extent of COVID-19 is not known yet, reported illnesses have ranged from extremely mild to severe, some resulting in death. Officials say that 80 to 85 percent of cases of COVID-19 have been mild, similar to a cold or the flu.
Older people and those with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are at a greater risk for a serious case.