An email on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 24 stated local health officials are investigating a possible COVID-19 case in Stephens County, though confirmation won’t be available until a later time.
Gary Curtis, Emergency Management Director for Stephens County, said he was notified from the Oklahoma State Department of Health Regional Administrative Director that the Stephens County Health Department is working on an investigation of a possible positive COVID-19 case in the area.
“You may pass this along, but please understand that we will not be able to know that it is a positive case until tomorrow after the state confirms it in their morning update,” Curtis said.
Oklahoma’s State Department of Health blasts out situation updates on COVID-19 every morning at 11 a.m., which is when Stephens County is expected to receive confirmation.
Curtis said while the confirmation is waiting, social distancing and other health precautions should continue to be followed.
“I want to continue to say: Please practice your social distancing and if you are running a fever, if you have any of the symptoms … please stay home,” Curtis said. “The self-quarantine is the only way that we will be able to stop (the curve) or in other words, the spiking of the virus that would overrun our medical facilities or practitioners.”
Curtis said the announcement was in no way to strike fear into citizens, but instead keep everyone informed.
“Do not pass this along to instill fear,” Curtis said. “This is a controllable virus if we follow the normal precautions as we should for any illness, such as flu.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever of 100 or higher, a cough and shortness of breath in more serious infections. It can also sometimes include headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, extreme exhaustion which progresses slowly and diarrhea. Rare symptoms include stuffy nose, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing. Information on symptoms is still evolving.
For more information or updates, visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov or dial the call center at 877-215-8336 or 2-1-1.
The Banner will update when more information is available after the 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 25 COVID-19 situation update from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.