During the past week the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has continued its rapid spread across the state of Oklahoma. Data released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows a total of 12,343 confirmed cases of the disease in the state as of Friday, June 26, with 377 deaths reported.
That total represents a jump of 2,637 cases in just the past week alone. The state's coronavirus tracker reported a total of 9,706 cases on Friday, June 19. On Friday, May 15, when Gov. Kevin Stitt's "Open Up and Recover Safely" plan to reopen the state's economy went into effect, the number of confirmed cases was 5,086. Now, just five weeks later, the reach of the pandemic has more than doubled in Oklahoma, with 7,257 new cases confirmed since the reopening.
Throughout the United States, there are presently 2,422,299 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 124,410 lives lost to this disease.
In Washita County, the number of infections continues to hold steady, with just three confirmed cases and no deaths. In the surrounding counties comprising District Five of the southwest Oklahoma health departments, 714 cases of the disease have been confirmed, with 29 resulting deaths. The 10 counties in District Five are Beckham, Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Tillman, and Washita. In the district, Comanche County has been the hardest hit, with 383 confirmed cases. Caddo County follows next, with 182 cases and 10 deaths reported as of Thursday, June 25.
Debra Johnson, health planner for District Five, advises people to take precautions to protect not only themselves, but also the people around them.
"COVID-19 is still very relevant and is in our communities," she wrote in a June 25 press statement. "According to the CDC, social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19. If social distancing is not possible, individuals can help protect those who cannot protect themselves with the use of a face mask. It is important to remember to wash hands regularly and keep surfaces routinely disinfected."