Governor Kevin Stitt said the state is prepared for an outbreak of the coronavirus. He held a press conference with state health officials Thursday to lay out the plan going forward. But the message the governor really wanted to drive home was, “don’t panic.”
Seven Oklahomans have been tested for the coronavirus known as COVID-19. Five are negative and two are pending.
“Let me start by clearly saying that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma,” Stitt told reporters Thursday. “The infection risk in Oklahoma remains low at this time and we are prepared to remain vigilant in our surveillance of this situation.”
The state has ordered tests and has stockpiled medical supplies.
“We do have cashes of medical and healthcare supplies that are stored in strategically located warehouses that can be provided upon request and we do have the ability to make requests if needed,” said Oklahoma State Health Commissioner Gary Cox.
“We have a number of plans that are currently in place including our basic emergency response plan, in case of pandemic, influenza plan; states emergency operations plan that all work in conjunction with each other,” Scott Sproat, the Director of Emergency Response State Health Department, added.
Experts said the virus is spread through person-to-person contact so experts suggest:
Washing hands frequently
Staying home if you feel sick
Avoiding people who are sick
“The state is taking this global epidemic seriously, and it’s recent introduction into the U.S.,” Stitt said. “The state is well positioned to monitor the developing situation, deploy assets as needed and protect the public health and safety of Oklahomans.”
Unfortunately, the global outbreak of coronavirus coincides with our flu season, and the symptoms; coughing, fever and sore throat, are similar. So, if you’re showing symptoms and have traveled outside the U.S., call your doctor. Don’t just show up at the doctor’s office, you will want to give them time to prepare for you.