TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) – Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday that he’s extending his stay-at-home order to all Oklahoma counties and urging Oklahomans to “do the right thing” during the critical coming weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The statewide stay-at-home order for vulnerable populations extends to April 30.
People are asked to stay home unless they must venture out to get food, medicine, medical care or conduct essential work or personal business.
“The best way to slow the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19 is through aggressive testing and tracing, as well as continuing to practice social distancing,” said Stitt. “I know how much these decisions affect people, but this is the right time to take these steps in order to protect our health care workers, our hospital systems and each other. These next few weeks are critical, and it will take all of us doing our part to stop the spread in Oklahoma.”
Earlier in the day, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum extended his city's stay-at-home order, which applies to people of all ages, through April 30.
The governor and state officials are expecting COVID-19 cases to peak in late April, though he warned predicting this virus is like forecasting a far-away hurricane. Too much remains unknown for very accurate forecasts.
Health officials will be able to provide more accurate forecasts as more people get tested.
That could happen soon, as Stitt said the state now has more than 13,000 coronavirus test kits at its disposal, He urged everyone with symptoms to get tested this week.
The governor announced that the state now has six drive-thru testing locations. A comprehensive list of testing sites can be found at coronavirus.health.ok.gov.
Tulsa officials are predicting the peak of the outbreak to fall more in the neighborhood of late May or early June.
As more tests are completed, and more results are reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, it’s more and more evident that older Oklahomans must take precautions and be protected from this virus.
Twenty-one of the state’s 30 coronavirus-related deaths are from people 65 or older.
More than 60% of the state’s positive cases are in people 50 or older.
As of Wednesday, the state has confirmed 719 positive coronavirus cases, 115 of which fall within Tulsa County.