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Gov. Stitt provides coronavirus update, saliva-based testing to begin

Posted at 8:48 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 13:20:08-04

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Governor's Solution Task Force provided an update to the State's response to the coronavirus.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says there are a total of 3, 410 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, with a total of 207 virus-related deaths.

In today's update, Deputy Secretary of Science and Innovation Elizabeth Pollard says that OSU Diagnostic Lab will submit an EUA to allow for saliva-based testing in the state versus nasal swabs. Also, it allows for quicker processing of tests. The OSU Diagnostic Lab was able to replicate Rutgers University's saliva based testing. "So, as early as tomorrow, we will begin testing saliva-based samples," says Pollard.

Gov. Stitt says that yesterday, the State began shipping pallets of PPE kits to nursing homes around the state. The kits include masks, gloves, gowns and face shields.

Deputy Secretary of Health and Mental Health Carter Kimble says there are four key areas to supporting and protecting our most vulnerable safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Protective Person Equipment
  • Testing
  • Admission/Discharge Protocols
  • Supporting the long term care facilities

There are 11 rapid response teams around the state to go in and support the facilities. These response teams are staffed mostly by the health department, Kimble says.

Below are the graphs, Gov. Stitt referenced during his press conference today. They show the State of Oklahoma's current standings in hospitalizations, testing, and trends.

Courtesy State of Oklahoma
Courtesy State of Oklahoma
Courtesy State of Oklahoma

Gov. Stitt encouraged Oklahomans to get tested if they are worried, simply call 211 for information and support.

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