Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Updated August 12, 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
*For statewide data visit: coronavirus.health.ok.gov/.
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. Read COVID-19 FAQs.
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.
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. As with any respiratory virus, you can protect yourself and others by taking every day preventative actions:
- Know how it spreads; COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- 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.
- 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.
- Avoid close contact with people; especially those who are sick. Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others even if you do not feel sick.
- Monitor your health daily; 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?
Stay home if you might have been exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others and monitor their health for 14 days following last exposure.
What counts as close contact?
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
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.
Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. When you can be around others (end home isolation) depends on different factors for different situations. Find CDC’s recommendations for your situation.
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.
- Use of Cloth Face Coverings English | Spanish
- How to Wear Face Mask Correctly English | Spanish
- DIY No Sew Cloth Face Covering Tutorial
- What's Your Risk of Infection? Infographic
Is THD Testing?
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. The Tulsa Health Department is one of many sites in Tulsa County to offer COVID-19 testing. All local health care systems offer testing and there are additional sites such as Walmart and CVS. Find all Tulsa County testing sites listed 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.