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State of Oklahoma

Posted: Sep 02, 2020 9:28 AMUpdated: Sep 02, 2020 11:03 AM

Gov. Stitt, Others Address COVID-19, Schools

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Garrett Giles

Governor Kevin Stitt held a press conference to give Oklahomans an update on the coronavirus situation as children continue to adjust to school during a global pandemic.

During the press conference in Stillwater, Gov. Stitt said he is encouraging all Oklahomans to do everything they can to stop and contain the spread of COVID-19. He asked Oklahomans to follow the "Three W's," which include washing your hands, watching your distance, and wearing a mask.

Secretary of Health Kevin Corbett followed Gov. Stitt’s address to Oklahomans. Corbett thanked the many contact tracing employees who are working hard to identify and isolate individuals with active infections.

In order for these contact tracers to be successful, Corbett said they need citizens to get tested and provide the information the tracers need. He said reductions in testing will only result hamper their effective re-opening processes currently underway in schools and other important essential venues.

In order to accelerate Oklahoma’s path to normalcy, Corbett said we have to understand the risks within a community and how those risks effect schools, places of worship, and other venues that serve as gathering places. He added that the statewide alert system is just one of the tools that they use to compile data and communicate, noting that it does not provide the full picture.

Joy Hofmeister, the Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction, said 75-percent of Oklahoma public schools have opened up with full-time, in-person instruction. She said less than eight-percent of districts opened with nothing but virtual instruction.

Districts are doing their best to work with their local communities to lower the transmission of COVID-19, so schools can do in-person the "Three R's" of reading, writing and arithmetic. Hofmeister said they can only do this if the community follows the "Three W's" of washing hands, watching distance, and wearing a mask.

Hofmeister said approximately 110 school districts that are open to in-person instruction have seen a positive COVID-19 case. She said most of these incidents have resulted in the disruption of quarantining, which is what they want to avoid.

Below is the full press confernce from Stillwater.

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