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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Oklahoma's Elderly And Vulnerable Populations Ordered To Stay Home Through May 6

Oklahoma’s stay at home order has been extended through May 6, but only for the state’s more vulnerable population. Gov. Kevin Stitt said Wednesday that the state’s COVID-19 curve is flattening, but not enough to warrant lifting that order.

“What we do over the next two weeks will significantly impact what we can do after April 30, and we need to continue to practice physical distancing, washing our hands frequently and limiting trips to the grocery store and pharmacy,” Stitt said, during a news conference broadcast on his Facebook page Wednesday. 

As of Thursday, 2,357 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Oklahoma, with 131 deaths.

The Oklahoma panhandle is currently reporting 10 total cases – one in Beaver County and nine in Texas County, with one death.

Stitt said the Safer at Home order has been extended through May 6 for those aged 65 and over and for those with underlying medical conditions, but said all elective surgeries will resume starting April 24.              

“We suspended elective surgeries to protect hospital beds in case of a surge and protect PPE for our health care workers who are working hard to treat COVID patients,” continued Gov. Stitt. “Our hospitals have been great partners with us, but many of them are struggling because our numbers are so low. Because we feel good about our hospital numbers and our PPE, I am announcing today that elective surgeries can resume in nine days on April 24.”

In backing that move, Stitt referred to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME model), which projects that Oklahoma’s peak hospital demand will occur on April 30, at which point the state will need 882 hospital beds, 218 ICU beds and 192 ventilators -- Oklahoma has 5,887 total beds, 991 ICU beds and 1,111 ventilators available.

Additionally, the governor discussed the State’s intention to work with the Department of Health in order to develop a plan to safely and responsibly allow businesses across the state to re-open while also continuing to prioritize the health and safety of Oklahomans.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get through this together. For just a little while longer – stay home, stay safe and stay strong,” concluded Gov. Stitt.