Oklahoma

Oklahoma COVID-19 cases now 29, include nursing home patient

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Michael Fowler wears a face mask while waiting for a Tulsa Transit bus at the Denver Avenue Station Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Fowler had the flu recently and said he really doesn’t want to get sick again. He wants to be ready and ward off the coronavirus. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)

Published 03/14/2020 | Reading Time 1 min 35 sec 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma has risen from 17 to 29, including the state’s first resident of a nursing home to test positive for the virus, state health officials said Wednesday.

The woman who was a resident of the Ponca City Nursing and Rehabilitation tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, several days after she was discharged from the nursing facility to a local hospital after experiencing symptoms, according to Care Providers Oklahoma, the nursing home industry trade group.

“That resident is most likely to discharge to the care of her own family,” said Care Providers Oklahoma President Steve Buck.

Like many states, Oklahoma is experiencing a shortage of testing kits and supplies, and state epidemiologist Laurence Burnsed said at a press conference Wednesday that only vulnerable adults experiencing severe symptoms should be tested.

Burnsed said the state had about 300 testing kits on Wednesday and had already used about 200.

Oral Roberts University in Tulsa said an employee of a company the university contracts with for grounds maintenance tested positive for COVID-19. ORU said the man did not interact with students, his co-workers were sent home and the shop where he worked and machinery he worked with has been cleaned.

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The vast majority of people who contract the virus recover within weeks. It causes only mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but it can lead to more severe illness, including pneumonia, especially in older adults and people with preexisting health problems.

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