OKLAHOMA CITY - Gov. Kevin Stitt addressed the state Friday, April 17 and gave an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
Stitt joined all 50 American governors for a meeting with Pres. Donald Trump on Thursday, April 16.
Stitt was very confident in the condition of Oklahoma hospitals.
“Oklahoma, we are still in great shape when it comes to hospital beds, ventilators and ICU beds,” said Stitt.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health website, the state has 911 available ventilators and 4,733 available beds. Stitt says that cases are trending down and that the curve is flattening and that hospitalizations in the state peaked on March 30 with a total of 560 cases.
“We are still preparing for a surge. We do not expect this to happen, but we are still staying proactive, just in case it does,” said Stitt.
After the meeting with the governors, Trump released a three-phase plan to reopen the country.
Stitt has not announced a plan for reopening Oklahoma, but says that his administration plans to follow the guidelines from the White House.
“We take about the White House guidelines to get our country safely re-opened,” he said. “Let me be clear, I know how badly many of you want to get back to normal, to get back to a normal way of life. We will continue to make decisions based on scientific data and information that is happening here on the ground in Oklahoma. We will also make decisions based on the advice from our health professionals. Our cases are trending down and our curve is flattening. That is great news,” said Stitt.
“The president called on Americans to do their part as we continue to fight this virus.”
Stitt says that the keys to reopen the state of Oklahoma comes down to two things: enhanced testing and contact tracing.
“We have the testing capacity in the state to test anyone with symptoms,” said Stitt.
Despite the OSDH graph showing a downward trend in confirmed cases, Stitt has prepared two extra drive-thru testing sites in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
The Tulsa location will be the OSU Medical Center and the OKC location will be at OU Health Center.
Stitt has activated a portion of the Oklahoma National Guard to aid in the cleaning and disinfecting of nursing homes that have not had a confirmed case of COVID-19.
“We are also starting to be laser focused on our nursing homes and long term care facilities. That’s where a third of the 136 deaths in Oklahoma have come from,” said Stitt. “We know our elderly Oklahomans and those with underlying health conditions are at a greater risk and we will continue to protect them, even as we allow our healthy Oklahomans to begin the process of returning to work.”
Although no plans to reopen the state were formally made, Stitt extended his ’safer at home’ order until May 6.
For more information on the latest COVID-19 numbers, visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov.