News Minute: Here is the latest Oklahoma news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. CDT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The mayors of Tulsa and Oklahoma City on Saturday issued shelter-in-place orders for residents amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Oklahoma Department of Health said Saturday that 15 people with coronavirus had died, an increase from eight the day earlier. There are at least 377 cases of people with COVID-19 in Oklahoma. U.S. Rep. Tom Cole said Saturday that the doctor-recommended self-quarantine he entered after being around a fellow congressman who tested positive for COVID-19 had ended.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn has died at age 72. The Oklahoma Republican was known for railing against federal earmarks. He was a conservative political maverick who also didn't let political differences dictate whom he called friends. He shrugged off complaints in 2009 when he was photographed hugging then-President Barack Obama. He said: “You need to separate the difference in political philosophy versus friendship." Coburn's death Saturday was confirmed to The Associated Press by a cousin. A cause of death was not provided, but Coburn had been undergoing treatment for prostate cancer for years. He left the Senate in 2015 after being diagnosed with a recurrence.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Tribes say their persistent efforts to be included in a massive stimulus bill to respond to the new coronavirus have paid off. Tribes have been lobbying Congress to help address shortfalls in an already underfunded health care system that serves Native Americans. They secured $10 billion in the bill that President Donald Trump signed Friday. Most of it is set aside as a relief fund that will be distributed based on need. More than $1 billion will go to the federal agency that provides primary health care for more than 2 million Native Americans. The Navajo Nation in the U.S. Southwest has been hardest hit by the virus with more than 90 confirmed cases.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says abortions are included in his executive order banning elective surgeries amid the coronavirus outbreak. Stitt amended the order Friday to specifically prohibit abortions unless they were necessary to prevent health risks to the mother. The abortion ban would apply through April 7, although it could be extended. Stitt issued an executive order Tuesday suspending all elective surgeries to preserve dwindling supplies of protective equipment like gloves, masks and face shields. A similar ban in Texas prompted a federal lawsuit earlier this week.
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