Governor Kevin Stitt held a press conference on Wednesday to provide an update on the State’s response to COVID-19 and announce he has issued a seventh Executive Order.
“The best way to slow the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19 is through aggressive testing and tracing, as well as continuing to practice social distancing,” said Gov. Stitt. “I know how much these decisions affect people, but this is the right time to take these steps in order to protect our health care workers, our hospital systems and each other. These next few weeks are critical, and it will take all of us doing our part to stop the spread in Oklahoma.”
The amended Executive Order provides for the following statewide measures:
- Closes all businesses not identified as being within a critical infrastructure sector, such as gyms, salons, massage parlors and movie theaters, where counties have community spread effective through April 30.
- Requires restaurants in all 77 counties to provide take-out and delivery options only and closes all bars through April 30.
- Postpones all elective surgeries, minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures until April 30.
- Issues a statewide “Safer at Home” order for adults over the age of 65 and vulnerable individuals with serious underlying medical conditions until April 30.
- Prohibits visitations to nursing homes and long-term care facilities through April 30.
- Limits gatherings to no more than 10 people through April 30.
During the press conference, the governor announced the State has lifted some of the restrictions on who can be tested for COVID-19. The state now has 13,000 COVID-19 test kits available, and Oklahoma State University has opened its lab to process a minimum of 2,300 tests per day.
“Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, or those who have been in direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed needs to be tested,” said Stitt. “One of the things that will help the modeling is more test results – that’s why it’s so important for our health care providers and our local health departments to test as many people as possible.”
The governor also announced that the state now has six drive-thru testing locations around Oklahoma, including ones that recently opened in Altus, Woodward and Lawton. A comprehensive list of testing sites can be found at coronavirus.health.ok.gov.
In addition, the governor provided an update on the modeling that state epidemiologists and experts from Oklahoma’s research universities are actively working to produce in order to provide accurate data to drive decisions regarding COVID-19.
The main model Governor Stitt talked about today comes from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). The IHME model has also been frequently referenced by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
The modeling underway with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and state research universities is still being finalized and the State will work with these institutes to help make them available once they have a final product.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, drive-thru testing sites without needing an appointment are open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the following cities.
- Woodward from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Woodward County Event Center.
- Altus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Western Oklahoma State College.
- Lawton from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Urgent Care Clinic, 3811 W. Gore.
Criteria for testing at drive-thru testing sites:
- Must be 18 or older
- Only one specimen per household
- Have not had close contact (within six feet) of someone who has tested positive in past 14 days
- Currently experiencing fever (>100.4 degrees F) AND cough or shortness of breath.
Testing is also available at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a physician referral and by appointment only.