By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported three additional COVID-19 related fatalities Saturday, bringing the state death toll due to the coronavirus to 139.
The three latest cases include: One in Oklahoma County, a male in the 36-49 age group; one in Pottawatomie County, a female in the 65 and older age group and one in Wagoner County, a female in the 50-64 age group.
As of April 18, Oklahoma has reported 2,570 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.
In response to Oklahomans asking for additional testing and at the request of Governor Kevin Stitt, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), the University of Oklahoma (OU), and Oklahoma State University (OSU) are teaming up to offer drive-thru testing sites at university locations in the Tulsa metro area.
This partnership will greatly increase testing capacity in Tulsa while providing additional data to assist the state in responding to COVID-19 and minimizing its impact in Oklahoma.
“We are excited to continue working alongside our public health professionals to further our testing capacity,” said Secretary of Science and Innovation, President of OSU Center for Health Sciences Kayse Shrum. “OSU is committed to partnerships that will strengthen our capacity now and in the future.”
OSU and OU have been tremendous partners in working with OSDH to expand testing capacity with additional labs that have proven vital to running an increasing number of COVID-19 tests and obtaining quick results. The state continues to aggressively pursue additional testing supplies needed for increased testing.
“OU is proud to be a partner in our state’s response to COVID-19. Working together to share our expertise and resources is critical to continued success at flattening the curve and protecting our communities,” said Jason Sanders, Senior Vice President and Provost of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
“We are appreciative of our state’s universities for stepping up to help Oklahomans in this time of need,” said Commissioner of Health Gary Cox. “A partnership like this is an example of how we come together as a community to protect and serve our state.”
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