OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Kevin Stitt has declared a State of Emergency for the whole of Oklahoma.
On Sunday, March 15, all 77 counties were declared under a State of Emergency due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Oklahoma is the 49th state to make the declaration.
"It is now necessary to provide for the rendering of mutual assistance among the State and political subdivisions of the State and to cooperate with the Federal government with respect to carrying out emergency functions during the continuance of the State emergency pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Emergency Management Act of 2003," said Stitt.
The declaration give the governor access to resources through the Department of Emergency Management and will allow state agencies the ability to hire more staff and make emergency purchases.
“Life as we know it will change for a little while but it doesn't have to shut down completely. Continue to find ways to support your local businesses,” Stitt said. “Pay attention to how you're feeling and make wise choices based on your risk.”
Stitt's announcement comes after President Donald J. Trump announced a State of Emergency on Friday, March 13, to fund the creation and manufacturing of COVID-19 test kits and an hour after the Mayor of Oklahoma City, David Holt, declared a State of Emergency for the city.
As of Monday, March 16, the State of Oklahoma has seven cases of Coronavirus according to the Oklahoma State Health Department. Tulsa County has three cases, Oklahoma County has two cases, while Canadian, Cleveland, Jackson, Kay and Payne Counties have one case each. Five of the cases are female and five are males. The age range is from 20-69, with three cases being in the dangerous zone.
Oklahomans are encouraged to continue to practice good hygiene, limit unnecessary travel and to shop normally at the stores.
On the National Scale
Vice President Mike Pence has been assigned to run point on the White House Coronavirus Task Force (WHCTF). The WHCTF held three press conferences over the weekend, keeping the public up to date on the situation.
Pence’s most recent points on testing:
• Testing is now available in all 50 states
• Ten states have set up independent testing sites
• Working with retail partners to implement drive through testing sites
• Priority for testing will be placed on Americans 65 and older, healthcare workers and first responders
• Coronavirus testing is free to all
• FEMA is now working with the administration to help with the battle against Coronavirus
“We’re all in this together and it’s absolutely important as we expand testing resources across america… It’s important that the tests are available for those who are most in need,” said Pence. “The testing should only be done on those who believe that they have Coronavirus.”