NORMAN — Another Cleveland County resident has died in relation to COVID-19 as the official county case total has risen to 60 cases, the State Department of Health reported Monday morning.
Six Cleveland County residents have died in relation to the virus in the last week. Monday's State Department of Health report noted that a man in the 50-64 year-old age group was the latest to die in Cleveland County.
The five other Cleveland County residents have been a Norman woman in her 60s, a woman in her 90s, two men in their 60's and a woman older than 65. In total, 17 Oklahomans have died in relation to COVID-19.
The 60 Cleveland County cases are up from 51 cases Sunday. There are now 481 positive cases in the state, and 153 COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Gov. Kevin Stitt tightened state restrictions on Sunday by amending an executive order.
Oklahoma will now require that anyone traveling from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Louisiana or Washington self-quarantine for 14 days. Stitt's order also requires that people delivering items to hospitals, clinics, long term care facilities and daycares submit to screenings.
Stitt's "safer at home" order, which suspends in-person operations for non-essential businesses in counties with confirmed cases, will continue to expand to cover new counties as cases are confirmed. Stitt's order also requires that elderly or vulnerable Oklahomans stay home until April 30, and bans in-person gatherings of more than 10 people.
In Norman, non-essential businesses are closed for in-person operations until midnight on April 14. Mayor Breea Clark's "stay-at-home" order also means residents should stay at home unless they must complete an essential activity.
Clark has also issued guidelines limiting organized community gatherings in Norman to no more than 10 people.
Oklahoma received a large amount of testing supplies last week, but is still prioritizing tests for those who are already hospitalized, or for vulnerable groups. Vulnerable Oklahomans include individuals ages 60 or older, people with compromised immune systems and any group of individuals — like a nursing home — that is experiencing symptoms.
The state received 10,000 new testing kits last week, allowing Oklahoma to process tests in a shorter timeframe at one of three Oklahoma laboratories rather than relying on a private lab. The state has also started to set up mobile testing clinics.
Oklahoma has also partnered with Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma LLC to process tests, and has authorized labs at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University to start testing as soon as they are able.
Still, without an adequate supply of testing kits, health officials have warned that Oklahoma is likely experiencing an undetected spread of the virus that's not reflected in state numbers.
The OSDH recently launched an "COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring System" through their website that allows residents to input any flu-like symptoms they are experiencing into the system. Residents' symptoms are then sent to OSDH and other local health officials to evaluate the symptoms and determine if monitoring or other assistance is required.
INTEGRIS Health also launched a new online tool designed to help Oklahoma residents determine if their symptoms are consistent with COVID-19. The results give residents a clinical recommendation for how they should move forward to either treat their symptoms or get additional COVID-19 support or testing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging everyone to practice social distancing to slow COVID-19's spread and reduce the risk of infection for vulnerable groups. The CDC asks that people keep their distance from large gatherings, keep at least six feet away from others if they have to go out, work on communicating with others virtually or without seeing them in-person, and stay home if they experience symptoms or feel sick.
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Those with symptoms or who suspect they may have been in contact with an infected person can call the Oklahoma Health Department's Coronavirus Hotline at 2-1-1.
Health professionals are urging the public to take precautions like frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering sneezes and coughs with an elbow or tissue, avoiding touching the face, staying home when possible and avoiding contact with those who are sick.