Eight months ago, the first Oklahoman tested positive for COVID-19.
Since March 6, the state’s response has ranged from shutting down nonessential businesses in counties with positive cases, to currently no statewide restrictions.
Tuesday, Governor Kevin Stitt announced no changes to statewide COVID-19 restrictions, however, looking back to March when since expired restrictions were first implemented, the numbers were much better than they are today.
March 24, Stitt limited gatherings to 10 or less, postponed elective surgeries, limited restaurants in counites with COVID-19 cases to takeout and delivery only and closed nonessential businesses in those counties.
“We want to be very cautious with those extreme measures,” Stitt told reporters Tuesday. “But we are looking at it. That’s why we are looking at it right now as a joint effort with the medical community, letting folks know, we have kind of taken our foot off the gas a little bit, and I’m encouraging Oklahomans to really take this seriously.”
On March 24, 106 Oklahomans had tested positive since the pandemic had begun 18 days earlier. In just the past 24 hours, 106 Oklahomans tested positive for COVID-19 every hour and a half.
While treatments and more positive outcomes have improved, Oklahomans are still hospitalized at near record rates.
When the order was issued, 25 Oklahomans were in the hospital. The governor warned, if we take no measures at all, the cases will outstrip our capacity, and our health care system.
“By acting early, we are going to flatten that curve,” he said.
As of Monday, 1038 Oklahomans were currently hospitalized; nearly 42 times the people on March 24.
On March 24, three Oklahomans had lost their lives to COVID-19. At a press conference that day, Stitt sent thoughts and prayers. As of Tuesday, November 10, 1,451 Oklahomans have died of the virus.