OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma set a record daily high for confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, however the governor said the state is a “long ways away” from reintroducing restrictions that could harm the economy.
The state added 585 new confirmed cases and two more deaths caused by the coronavirus, bringing its tally since the start of the pandemic to 13,757 cases and 387 deaths. The actual number of cases is believed to be far higher, but many people haven’t been tested and some who get the disease don’t show symptoms.
Despite the uptick in cases, Gov. Kevin Stitt said the state is a “long ways away” from closing back down. During a news conference, he urged residents to wear masks to limit the spread of the disease but he said face coverings would not be required.
Stitt, a Republican, said he’ll sign an executive order to provide more county-by-county information on the virus as Oklahomans cope with it on a “prolonged basis.”
“We know we will continue to see new cases as we find our new normal,” he said. “We may be dealing with this virus for the next 24 months.”
Oklahoma closed non-essential businesses in late March and started reopening them by May.
The previous daily record high in COVID-19 cases for Oklahoma was 482, which was reported last Wednesday.
The state health department reported 10,085 people have recovered from the illness and that 315 are currently hospitalized either with the virus or under investigation for the virus.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.
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