Man sneezing into kleenex

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Updated July 4, 2020

Public health officials are closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. People in places like Oklahoma where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location.  The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel. Additionally, they issued an alert advising older adults and those with chronic medical conditions to consider postponing nonessential travel. The CDC also recommends all travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide.

Tulsa County Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

*Updated daily by 12:00 p.m. For all statewide stats visit: coronavirus.health.ok.gov/.

Background

What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization and declared a global pandemic on March 11, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Learn about COVID-19.

How does the virus spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. 

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. 
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. 
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
  • Maintaining good social distance (about 6 feet) is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.

Protection

How can I help protect myself?
Visit the Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19. CDC also recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to. As with any respiratory virus, you can protect yourself and others by taking every day preventative actions:

  • Avoid going in public. If you are well and must leave your home for essential reasons like groceries or health care, practice social distancing and maintain six feet between yourself and others.
  • Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 infection available online.

Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. The goal is to prevent positive asymptomatic COVID-19 individuals from spreading the virus if they were to sneeze, cough or touch their face. Wearing the covering does not take the place of social distancing and hand washing.

Testing

Is THD Testing?
Testing for COVID-19 is available through the Tulsa Health Department. Tulsa Health Department conducts specimen collection for testing by appointment only at Expo Square, 1701 S Sandusky Ave, Tulsa, OK 74112. Instructions for services will be provided at the time the appointment is made. Call the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-9355 to set up an appointment. For information on more testing options, click here.

Should I get tested?

If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or you develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. People at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild.

How do I discontinue home isolation?

If you have or think you might have COVID-19, it is important to stay home and away from other people. Staying away from others helps stop the spread of COVID-19. When you can be around others (end home isolation) depends on different factors for different situations. Find CDC’s recommendations for your situation.

To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. Read the CDC Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 and Interim Guidance for Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19.

 

What is THD doing about COVID-19?

The Tulsa Health Department (THD) along with Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring this outbreak and implementing infection control and isolation protocols to prevent the spread of illness in Oklahoma. Local public health experts in Oklahoma are communicating with and educating health care providers and other public health partners about the current situation. Tulsa Health Department epidemiologists perform contact tracing on confirmed cases in Tulsa County to determine potential exposures in the community. Testing for COVID-19 is available through the Tulsa Health Department for those exposed to a known COVID-19 patient or is showing symptoms of COVID-19. Tulsa Health Department conducts specimen collection for testing by appointment only. Call the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-9355 to set up an appointment. As of March 6, 2020, health officials reported the state's first positive COVID-19 case in Tulsa County. You can view updated COVID-19 stats in Oklahoma here

It is also flu season and health officials recommend receiving your annual flu shot, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs and taking flu antivirals if prescribed. See our Flu Page for more information.

Email Updates

Subscribe to our Public Health Emergency Preparedness Updates. View previously issued updates below.
 

Workplace Guidance

Tulsa Health Department's Guidance for Businesses, Events and Organizations:

Health and Safety Consultation
Tulsa Mayor Bynum has issued an executive order on July 2, 2020 that extends the civil health emergency in the city of Tulsa. Tulsa continues to follow the State of Oklahoma’s OURS Plan, but the following items have been added to Tulsa specifically based on the updated City of Tulsa Executive Order: All Tulsa bars and restaurant workers are required to wear masks while working beginning immediately. File a complaint online or call Food Protection Services directly at 918-595-4300.

There is a wealth of guidance available to businesses on the CDC website and this website. Public health leaders encourage all businesses to review their own plans to ensure the safety of employees and the customers you serve. The City of Tulsa is partnering with the Tulsa Health Department to implement a Tulsa Health Department health and safety consultation program for businesses that would like additional health guidance for their business. If a business would like a consultation, they can call the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-9335 or submit their plans for review and recommendations to covid19plans@tulsa-health.org.

THD knows large gatherings can be conduits of transmission, so if you are planning a special event, public health officials encourage event planners to review the guidance available on the CDC website and this website. The Tulsa Health Department will be evaluating safety plans for large events over 500 in Tulsa so health officials can work with event organizers on a case by case basis in making safe decisions as it relates to events in Tulsa. Plans can be submitted for review to covid19plans@tulsa-health.org or can call the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-9335. More information can be found on the City of Tulsa website.

Resources:

Previous Public Health Emergency Preparedness Updates
Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is a process used by public health officials to slow the rate of community spread of an infectious disease by interrupting the chain of transmission. It helps empower residents to act to protect not only themselves but their loved ones as well.

If you are identified as a close contact, someone from our contact tracing team will call you to provide notification of the exposure. We will always reach out via a phone call and will never ask for personal information like your social security number.

By helping our contact tracers, you're helping slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep Tulsa County residents healthy.

Safer at Home

On June 8, Mayor Bynum issued an amended Civil Emergency Order that falls in line with the State’s OURS Plan. Under the new Civil Emergency in Tulsa, events may resume in Tulsa. Special event permits will be issued pursuant to the State’s Reopening Plan on June 1. During Phase 3, employers can resume unrestricted worksite staffing and visits to hospitals and senior living facilities may resume subject to certain guidelines as outlined by the state and each individual facility. Additionally, businesses who have been taking customers by appointment only can start taking walk-ins.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma began implementing a three-phased approach to open Oklahoma’s economy back up on April 24, 2020. For information, questions and reopening guidance, please visit the Oklahoma Department of Commerce's OURS plan page.

City of Tulsa

Tulsa County

Community Resources

Posters/Handouts/Social Posts

Testing

Tulsa Health Department

Tulsa Health Department conducts specimen collection for testing by appointment only. Instructions for services will be provided at the time the appointment is made. Call the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-9355 to set up an appointment.

  • Expo Square
    • 1701 S Sandusky Ave, Tulsa, OK 74112

Testing in Tulsa County also available at the following locations below. 
Hours, eligibility requirements, cost and other details may vary. Please visit the organization's website or contact them directly for more information. For testing statewide, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

COVID-19 Call Center

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has established a call center to answer COVID-19 related questions. The number is 877-215-8336. The call center is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The call center has the capability to connect callers to Spanish-speaking interpreters.

Tulsa Health Department has a dedicated call center as well available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The number is 918-582-WELL (9355). THD has activated the Stress Response Team with the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) to assist with the response. OKMRC are credentialed volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including many non-medical staff as well. If you or a loved one need help coping with anxiety, grief, worry or other behavioral health issues, you may also consider calling the free Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

For more information, please dial 2-1-1.

Resources:

Guidance for Travelers

Is it safe to travel to China or other countries where COVID-19 cases have occurred?
The situation is evolving. Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on location. Stay up to date with CDC’s travel health notices related to this outbreak. These notices will be updated as more information becomes available. CDC does have additional specific guidance for travelers available online. When returning from travel, to slow the spread of COVID-19 into the United States, CDC is working with state and local public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions. Depending on your travel history, you will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice).

Is it safe to travel within the U.S. where COVID-19 cases have occurred?

CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. Here are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates their COVID-19 travel guidance. Additionally, CDC regularly updates their global map which tracks COVID-19 country transmission levels.

CDC Guidance for:

Oklahoma State Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance for: 

Guidance for Mass Gatherings

Tulsa Health Department recommends following CDC guidance for mass gatherings. This is guidance intended for organizers and staff responsible for planning mass gatherings or large community events in the United States. Everyone can do their part to help plan, prepare, and respond to this emerging public health threat.

Definition: A mass gathering is a planned or spontaneous event with a large number of people in attendance that could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event. This includes concerts, festivals, conferences, worship services, and sporting events.

Executive Orders: 

Social Posts:

Posters/Handouts:

Guidance for Social Distancing

The goals for using mitigation strategies, like social distancing, in communities with local COVID-19 transmission are to slow the transmission of disease and in particular to protect:

  • Individuals at increased risk for severe illness, including older adults and persons of any age with underlying health conditions.
  • The healthcare and critical infrastructure workforces.

These approaches are used to minimize morbidity and mortality and the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Individuals, communities, businesses and healthcare organizations are all part of a community mitigation strategy. Practice social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus.

  • Stay home (as much as possible) even if you feel well, especially if you are 60 years or older or have health issues.
  • Limit trips to necessary errands such as food and healthcare needs.
  • If you must go out, stay six feet apart from others.

Guidance for Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals can find interim guidance (including patient evaluation, reporting, testing, specimen collection, and prevention and control recommendations) on the CDC website: Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals

The CDC has provided updated PPE sequence guidelines for healthcare workers handling infectious diseases. The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required, such as standard and contact, droplet or airborne infection isolation precautions. The procedure for putting on and removing PPE should be tailored to the specific type of PPE.

Resources:

Guidance for Dental Professionals

To help control the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response. This guidance should be used with CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for patients with COVID-19. This information supplements, but does not replace, the general infection prevention and control (IPC) recommendations for COVID-19.

Guidance for K-12 administrators

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates their guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. Please check the CDC website periodically for updated interim guidance.

Child care and K-12 administrators can support their school community by sharing resources with students (if resources are age-appropriate), their families, and staff. Coordinate with local health officials to determine what type of information might be best to share with the school community. Consider sharing the following fact sheets and information sources:

The Oklahoma State Board of Education unanimously approved an order that implements a Distance Learning Plan to complete the 2019-20 school year for Oklahoma students without reopening school buildings. Read full press release.

2020-2021 School Year

The Oklahoma State Department of Education published a framework of recommendations and state guidance for reopening public schools. Return to Learn Oklahoma highlights a multitude of potential changes to the typical educational experience. The framework offers a checklist of 71 action items relating to school operations, academics, holistic supports and personnel. School districts can choose which recommendations to implement, if at all.

Guidance for Child Care Facilities

In accordance with CDC guidelines, Oklahoma State Department of Health is issuing the following guidelines for child care providers when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among a facility employee or attendee: 

  • Immediately notify your local child care licensing specialist who may advise the facility to temporarily close for a minimum of 48 hours for investigation and cleaning. If a facility has trouble reaching the local specialist, contact Child Care Services within the Department of Human Services state offices for assistance: 405-521-3561 or toll free: 1-844-834-8314.
  • Close off areas used by the ill person(s) and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area, waiting up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
  • Cleaning staff should disinfect all areas (offices, bathrooms, playground, and common areas) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces. 

Effective immediately, child care providers are requested to implement the following guidance, consistent with new requirements in accordance with federal guidance and Gov. Kevin Stitt’s recent disaster declaration:

  • Prohibit any person except the following from accessing an operation: operation staff; persons with legal authority to enter, including law enforcement officers, state child care licensing staff, and Department of Human Services’ Family and Protective Services staff; professionals providing services to children; children enrolled at the operation; and parents or legal guardians who have children enrolled and present at the operation.   
  • Require pickup and drop-off of children outside of the operation, unless it's determined that there is a need for the parent to enter an operation.
  • Provide each child with individual meals and snacks. Do not serve family style meals.  
  • Before allowing entry into the operation, screen all individuals listed above, including taking the temperature of each person upon arrival at the operation each day, and deny entry to any person who meets any of the following criteria:
  1. A temperature of 100.4°F or above.
  2. Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and low-grade fever.
  3. In the previous 14 days has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; is under investigation for COVID-19; or is ill with a respiratory illness.
  4. In the previous 14 days has travelled internationally to countries with widespread, sustained community transmission. For updated information on affected countries, visit the CDC site here.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services recommends daycares and child care centers remain open to serve their community, increase sanitization practices and remain vigilant in providing hygiene protocols to children and employees, follow best practices on social distancing and sanitization, and remain flexible while maintaining child safety as the top priority. OKDHS issued expanded guidance on March 17th: 

As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, child care providers should stay in communication with the local licensing specialist for guidance.

Resources:

Guidance for Funeral Directors

The National Funeral Directors Association has published CDC approved guidance regarding coronavirus procedures for Funeral Directors.

In order to protect the health of the public and reduce the number of staff in the office, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has temporarily suspended lobby and mail application services for Vital Records until further notice. This includes the offices in Oklahoma City, McAlester and Tulsa.

During this time, a limited number of Vital Records staff will remain on site to fill online and phone requests. Additionally, staff will be working remotely with hospitals, physicians and funeral directors to assure birth and death records continue to be filed in a timely manner.

Oklahoma funeral homes can order death certificates through a dedicated portal. While the OSDH does not accept online orders directly, the Office of Vital Records has partnered with VitalChek to make this service available. VitalChek has waived the $6 portal fee for the next 30 days for any funeral director who has not previously accessed the portal.

For more information on submitting on-line and phone orders, please visit: https://govstatus.egov.com/oklahoma-coronavirus-information.

You may also email the Vital Records Service at AskVR@health.ok.gov with any additional questions.

Guidance for Veterinarians

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides an FAQ page specifically for veterinarians and veterinary clinics on COVID-19. AVMA has additional resources and information (updated frequently) at avma.org/coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides interim guidance for public health professionals managing the home care and isolation of people with COVID-19 who have pets or other animals in the same home. Visit the CDC web page.

Guidance for Food Industry

Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of the coronavirus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working in many ways to help keep people safe while the nation is coping with COVID-19. Food availability and food safety are vitally important to our well-being, and the FDA is working hard to help ensure the foods you, your family, and your pets eat are safe and available.

THD Guidance for Food Safety:

Poster Printables for Food Establishments:

Guidance for Mental Health

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has established a call center to answer COVID-19 related questions. The number is 877-215-8336. The call center is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The call center has the capability to connect callers to Spanish-speaking interpreters.

Tulsa Health Department has a dedicated call center as well available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The number is 918-582-WELL (9355). THD has activated the Stress Response Team with the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) to assist with the response. OKMRC are credentialed volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including many non-medical staff as well. If you or a loved one need help coping with anxiety, grief, worry or other behavioral health issues, you may also consider calling the free Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

For more information, please dial 2-1-1.

Local Resources:

First Responders Resources

 
Taking Care of Family

 
Resources for Leaders

SAMHSA

CDC

Volunteer Resources

Health Professionals
Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) is looking for volunteers in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Residents and Non-Profit Organizations
If you are a residents or a non-profit organization looking to support the regional response to COVID-19, visit Tulsa Area Regional United Way for updated information on how you can help.

Resources in Other Languages

CDC Resources/Materials:

Poster Printables for Food Establishments:

Oklahoma State Department of Health Materials

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