Donald Trump Tulsa

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The coronavirus has infected 10,515 people in Oklahoma and killed 369.

On Monday, officials reported 478 new coronavirus cases, a record high for the state.  

Oklahoma’s governor never imposed a statewide stay-at-home order and allowed non-essential businesses to reopen starting April 24. 

Because official coronavirus data lags roughly two weeks behind new infections, it’s too soon to know how President Trump’s rally in Tulsa on Saturday will affect the state’s outbreak.

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Oklahoma reported its highest daily coronavirus caseload on Monday since the outbreak began: a record 478 new cases.

The number topped the state’s previous highest, 450 cases, which was reported on June 18.

The new record comes as the virus is spreading quickly across a broad swath of the United States. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said over the weekend that the world “is in a new and dangerous phase” of the pandemic. 

In total, the virus has sickened more than 8.9 million people globally and killed more than 468,000. Of the US’s 2.28 million confirmed cases and nearly 120,000 deaths, Oklahoma has reported 10,516 cases and 369 deaths, according to the state’s department of health. Oklahoma City and Tulsa have been hardest hit. 

The state’s cases have been trending upward since early June — statistics website Worldometers shows that its seven-day rolling average jumped from 69 on June 1 to 326 on Monday. One COVID-19 death was reported on Monday, down from the record high of 21 on April 21. 

On the whole, Oklahoma hasn’t been wracked by the coronavirus as severely as states like New York and Illinois — which is one of the reasons President Donald Trump chose to hold a campaign rally in Tulsa’s BOK Center on Saturday.

Oklahoma’s governor didn’t enforce a statewide stay-at-home order

The state’s Monday record is probably not connected to Trump’s rally, since the official numbers lag behind the on-the-ground reality, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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New cases and hospitalizations reported today are a reflection of the coronavirus’ spread two weeks ago because the average incubation period is five days, and symptoms worsen over a week or two. Then after a person gets tested, it can take a few days for results to come back, which then must be reported to local and state health authorities. If someone is hospitalized, it may take many more days before they get dangerously sick or die.

Oklahoma was among a handful of states that never issued a statewide stay-at-home order. Instead, Gov. Kevin Stitt opted for a “safer-at-home” order that required vulnerable populations, including people over 65 and those with pre-existing health conditions, to stay at home until April 30.

On March 24, when there were 109 cases in the state, Stitt ordered the closure of non-essential businesses. Personal care businesses, including hair and nail salons, barbershops, and pet groomers, reopened a month later. Those businesses were followed by churches, gyms, tattoo parlors, and movie theaters, which opened on May 1.

Health experts continue to stress the need to wear face masks in public, since the virus tends to spread via droplets from an infected person’s coughs, speech, or sneezes, and to stay at least 6 feet away from others. As states resume normal life, public-health experts agree that officials must combine widespread testing with contact tracing and social distancing to prevent outbreaks from resurfacing.

However, Dr. George Monks, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, told The Oklahoman that Stitt’s reopening plan was “hasty at best.”

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