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As of this advisory, there are 481 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. New counties with cases include Beckham, Cotton and Love counties. These counties will now be required to come into compliance with Gov. Kevin Stitt's "Safer at Home" executive order that calls for non-essential businesses in counties with COVID-19 cases to temporarily suspend services until April 16.

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Country music legend Joe Diffie, born in Tulsa and raised in Velma, passed away Sunday, March 29, 2020, after complications with COVID-19.

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An election emergency declaration issued by the State Election Board Secretary on March 18 will impact elections scheduled for April 7 in Stephens County, the County Election Board Secretary confirmed.

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With the rapid advancement of COVID-19 throughout the state, more and more businesses have been temporarily closing their doors in an effort to help slow community spread.

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As of this advisory, there are 429 positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. New counties with cases include Garfield, Rogers, Seminole and Texas counties. These counties will now be required to come into compliance with Governor Kevin Stitt's "Safer at Home" executive order that calls for non-essential businesses in counties with COVID-19 cases to temporarily suspend services until April 16.

On Thursday, the first positive case of COVID-19 officially hit Stephens County. In an effort to eliminate community spread, all non-essential businesses were mandated to close their doors through mid-April or go to curbside pickup and delivery. 

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Just imagine you are a high school senior right now. Overnight, everything changed. They are not only wondering what graduation will look like, but they are also heart-broken and shocked to lose these last few weeks with their friends and classmates. You can safely multiply that feeling by 3…

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As of this advisory, there are 377 positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. New counties with cases include Le Flore and Nowata counties. These counties will now be required to come into compliance with Governor Kevin Stitt's "Safer at Home" executive order that calls for non-essential businesses in counties with COVID-19 cases to temporarily suspend services until April 16. 

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Still quarantined? Give your kids and the rest of the family an excuse to get creative and be the good in the world by taking a day to dress up and become your favorite superhero, complete with a superhero craft, meals and snacks.

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With a positive test appearing in Stephens County earlier this week, some of the area school programs went through a few changes to limit traffic around the county.

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The COVID-19 situation continues to develop in Oklahoma. As of publication on Friday, March 26, there are 322 positive tests reported in Oklahoma. We now have at least one positive case each in Grady, McClain and Stephens counties, which make up House District 51.

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A second meeting in Duncan exhibited true social distancing when the Duncan Public Schools Board of Education met at noon Thursday, March 26 to discuss pushing their election date following an election emergency amid the spread of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

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Duncan Chamber President Chris Deal led a Facebook Live community meeting Friday morning alongside Rep. Marcus McEntire and Mayor Ritchie Dennington to help answer questions and address concerns related to COVID-19.

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Districts are using technology to plan how the final month and half of the 2019-2020 school year will be taught after the Oklahoma Department of Education closed all buildings and in person teaching for the remainder of the school year.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The state has procured 10,000 COVID-19 test kits but will continue to prioritize its public health supply for Oklahomans who are already hospitalized or classified as most vulnerable to the virus, officials said during a Friday briefing.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said help is on the way for Oklahomans and the small businesses that employ them as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 aid package.

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As of this advisory, there are 322 positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. New counties with cases include Caddo, Cherokee, Choctaw, Latimer and Pittsburg counties. These counties will now be required to come into compliance with Governor Kevin Stitt's "Safer at Home" executive order that ca…

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The season was supposed to be going until late April and possibly early May, however, the effects of COVID-19 has been felt and Demons soccer coach Fabian Lopez reflects on his final season as coach for the program.

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If a business owner is still unsure about whether or not their business falls under the category of essential, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce has outlined steps for businesses to follow to help them make that determination. These steps can be found at www.okcommerce.gov/covid19.

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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) will temporarily suspend lobby and mail application services for Vital Records until further notice. This includes the offices in Oklahoma City, McAlester and Tulsa.

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Both City of Duncan and City of Marlow made the call to follow the executive order issued by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and will implement some restrictions in an effort to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic in Oklahoma.

 

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma unemployment claims increased by 865% last week as thousands of Oklahomans filed for unemployment amid the state’s worsening COVID-19 outbreak.

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Last week I wrote about being eager for April 6 to come so sports could resume but now the unfortunate has happened and for the remainder of the school year high school sports have been canceled.

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After the State Department of Education canceled extra curricular activities, the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) had their monthly meeting where they voted unanimously to cancel the 2A-6A State Basketball Championship and all spring sports activities for the rest o…

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Social distancing was in full affect at the Duncan City Council meeting Tuesday, March 24.

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Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics will look to help all students continue their math education remotely. To assist students and parents throughout the state, President Frank Wang, Ph.D., is creating an online curriculum for any Oklahoma student to use. His goal is to create interest…

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Following a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result in Stephens County, The Banner has decided to do our part to help flatten the curve. Our lobby will close to the general public as of 5 p.m. Thursday, March 26. 

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The new normal of social distancing and shelter-in-place is challenging for all of us, creating stress and anxiety as we face an uncertain future and timeline. Worries about our health, our finances and our loved ones seem to increase almost daily. Dr. Thad Leffingwell, a clinical health psy…

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The State Board of Education voted Wednesday to shutter schools for the rest of the school year, ordering districts across the state to develop and release distanced-based learning lessons starting April 6.

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Duncan Regional Hospital, along with two other hospitals in Comanche County, announced Tuesday the decision to postpone elective and non-urgent cases for at least 30 days “when deemed clinically appropriate.”

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Unlike the traditional enemies our nation has faced throughout history, COVID-19 is one that can dangerously hide in plain sight and threaten the health and wellbeing of any American community.

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With some extra time at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak, several people have taken on the a project to do a little good for their community.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma remained critically low on COVID-19 testing kits even as the governor pushed forward with his ambitious plan to open mobile testing sites in four cities.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

ADA [ndash] Graveside services for Emily Ann Bess-Dixon, 37, of Ada are at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Lightning Ridge Cemetery. Chad Large will officiate. Mrs. Bess-Dixon died Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at a local hospital. She was born Oct. 24, 1982, to Larry Bess and Karen Hallmark. She graduated …

LULA [ndash] Graveside services for Leona Young, 93, of Lula are at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Centrahoma Cemetery. The Rev. Buddy Drake will officate. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. today at Criswell Funeral Home. Mrs. Young passed away Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at a Coalgate nu…

ADA [ndash] No services are planned at this time for John William Hollis, 63, of Ada. Mr. Hollis passed away Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at a local nursing home. He was born Sept. 29, 1956, at Mt. Vernon, Illinois, to J.W. "Bill" and Charlotte Ross Hollis. He graduated from Ada High School and …