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OKLAHOMA CITY – The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits filed with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) for the week ending May 23, 2020, continue to reflect the impact of business closures due to the COVID-19 and Oil Industry crises.

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced today the State has surpassed its goal to collect and test more than 90,000 specimens in the month of May. 

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The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) will launch OETA Art Club, a new summer arts program designed to engage students in the arts as traditional summer programs cancel.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The growing partisan divide over facemasks was on full display in the Legislature last week.

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An investigation into fraudulent unemployment claims made during the coronavirus pandemic has been turned over to the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Secret Service, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday.

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The Oklahoma secretary of state's office must accept a group's petitions to get a question on the November ballot that seeks to reduce the state's incarceration rate, the state's highest court ruled, dismissing concerns that doing so would be unsafe because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

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The Justice Department has closed investigations into stock trading by Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, according to people familiar with notifications sent to the senators. The senators came under scrutiny for transactions made in the weeks before the coronavirus sent markets downhill.

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As of this advisory, there are 6,229 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

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As of this advisory, the State of Oklahoma has reported a total of 6,137 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. Since our last Situation Report, the following number of positive cases were published daily at coronavirus.health.ok.gov:

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Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said all Chickasaw Nation gaming facilities will open at 25 percent of capacity 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 27.

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The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) had a three phase plan the organization presented in a Friday special meeting but it failed to pass and summer activities will resume June 1.

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Hospitals, health care workers, and first responders in Oklahoma will soon have the option of recycling their N95 masks with the state receiving a new decontamination system developed by Battelle, a global research and development organization headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The life-saving N95 masks always were the hardest to find.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Legislature approved a resolution on Friday that calls for sweeping powers granted to the governor under a health emergency to expire at the end of the month.

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Oklahoma City (AP) — Gov. Kevin Stitt has named Oklahoma Air National Guard surgeon Col. Lance Frye of Tulsa as interim commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health as the state continues to reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Oklahoma Arts Council announced the opportunity for select Oklahoma nonprofit arts organizations to apply for funding made available through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Applications for the agency's Oklahoma CARES Grants opened May 18. Deadline to submit applications is May 29.

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Thousands of Oklahomans face eviction in the coming days as courts statewide begin to sort through a backlogged docket filled with people who have fallen behind on their rent payments.

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Oklahoma State Department of Health District 8 Public Information Officer Julie Williamson gave clarity on the new uptick in COVID-19 cases for Stephens County.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A convenience to Oklahoma consumers born out of the pandemic will be allowed to remain in place.  The measure, by Sen Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, and Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, allows curbside sales or home deliveries of beer, wine and spirits to continue.  Gov. Kevin Stit…

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OKLAHOMA CITY — State leaders plan to start distributing some of the $1.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funding to local governments beginning the first week of June, Oklahoma’s governor announced Wednesday.

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As of this advisory, there are 5,532 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

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When a coronavirus vaccine becomes available in the United States, the federal government and states will face a crucial choice: Should all or most residents be required to get the novel coronavirus vaccine? 

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Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation (DAEDF) has poured $600,000 into the Stephens County community throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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As of this advisory, there are 5,398 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. Stephens County now has 26 cases, of which 21 are recovered, and a death which was reported previously. There are no additional deaths. There are 288 total deaths in the state.

In my short time as your superintendent, I have had the pleasure of meeting several of you, but my most lasting impression will certainly be your class dance earlier in the year. Since then, I have personally met with several parents wondering if they want their kids to attend Duncan Public …

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On Friday, the Oklahoma Restaurant Association announced the launch of The Oklahoma Restaurant Promise (ORP). The objective of the ORP is to help restaurants instill confidence with customers as they choose to return to dine-in service at Oklahoma restaurants. The Promise communicates a restaurant’s pledge for the safety of their staff and customers by following the six elements of the Promise.

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced Friday, May 15 some groups of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries may begin to receive their “stimulus checks” known as economic impact payments (EIP) in late May.

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The State of Oklahoma stepped into Phase 2 of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Open Up and Recover Safely (OURS) Plan on Friday, May 15 when more establishments reopened their doors, including some in the City of Duncan and City of Marlow.

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The Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced the resumption of drive tests as well as relaxing some other restrictions on the process of acquiring a driver license as Gov. Kevin Stitt begins phase two of the state's reopening. 

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After Stephens County remained fully recovered aside from one death for a few days, new COVID-19 cases are beginning to pop up, including the first in a health and rehabilitation community.

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First Baptist Church in Duncan announced on Facebook they received contact from the Stephens County Health Department about a child in the daycare at the facility who tested positive for COVID-19.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The state remains on track to begin the next phase of business reopenings later this week even as hospitalization numbers spiked Wednesday and health officials worked to resolve testing accessibility problems.

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The 43rd Annual Blowout Golf Tournament remains on the schedule for this year, though it will have some changes when it comes to safety guidelines and social distancing.

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After nearly two months since closing because of COVID-19, the Simmons Center in Duncan announced it will reopen May 15, though restrictions will remain in place for their members.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The governor’s ambitious COVID-19 expansion program has overwhelmed state resources, forcing health officials to temporarily scale back testing availability across the state.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — State senators plan to ditch the state’s health commissioner later this month, potentially forcing the governor to try to find a replacement amid a deadly pandemic.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

ADA [ndash] On Wednesday, March 20, 2020, Dr. William A. Carter passed away at age 84. William was born Sept. 16, 1935, in Ada, to George and Flora (Summers) Carter. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in education from East Central University and began his teaching career at Union Hi…