First Confirmed Coronavirus Case Reported In Oklahoma, State Officials Announce

Friday, March 6th 2020, 5:21 pm
By: LeighAnne Manwarren, Bonnie Campo

The first case of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, has been confirmed in Oklahoma, state officials announced Friday.

The person is a man in his 50s and is a resident of Tulsa County, Gov. Kevin Stitt said.

The man has been placed under quarantine and is not a case of community spread in Oklahoma. 

The man returned from a trip on Feb. 23 from Italy. He flew into the Tulsa International Airport. The man became symptomatic on Feb. 29, the Tulsa health department reported.

The man and his family are at their home and have been placed under quarantine. The man is medically stable and is feeling better, health officials said.

Related: Gov. Stitt Tries To Calm Fears Over Coronavirus 

Doctor's expect the number of cases to go up, but they said we should not panic.

COVID-19 is spread like the flu, with similar symptoms.

Doctors said they've been prepping their hospital for weeks.

“We've been meeting since January to deal with this and the hospital has also been meeting for more than a month to try to plan for this,” said Dr. Drevets.

COVID-19, is a virus that by and large has impacted older generations, or those with health complications.

OU Medical Center doctors report that younger children show some resistance to the sickness. Largely, because they have already had previous exposure to similar coronaviruses.

Watch Related: Doctors Urge People Not To Panic Amid Coronavirus Outbreak


For others good hygiene is key.

“This particular virus has been shown in some studies to last up to nine days on certain surfaces,” said Dr. Drevets.

Some tips:

-Wash your hands

-Restrict travel plans

-Be courteous when you cough, and wipe down any surfaces you may have coughed on

Doctors urge others to remember the flu has killed 20,000 people in the U.S. this season.

COVID-19 has claimed at least 15 lives.

Though, providers want people to remain cautious, not frantic.

“I think my advice would be don't be worried, be vigilant. My understanding is that this individual stayed at home since his return. So, there's always going to be a possibility for spread, right. But it's a call to being vigilant,” said Dr. Drevets.

Travelers returning to the United States from China, Italy or South Korea in the last 14 days are urged to seek medical advice if they feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing. It is important to call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room and advise them of recent travel to China, Italy or South Korea. This will allow health care providers to implement the appropriate assessment and infection control measures prior to the patient’s arrival.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health's coronavirus hotline is 877-215-8336.