Man sneezing into kleenex

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Updated April 2, 2020

Public health officials are closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

This is an emerging and rapidly evolving situation. According to the CDC, the immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states, including Oklahoma. People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location.  The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel. Additionally, they issued an alert advising older adults and those with chronic medical conditions to consider postponing nonessential travel. The CDC also recommends all travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide.

Tulsa County Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
For Tulsa County’s confirmed COVID-19 case count list, please click here. This chart is updated daily by 12:00 p.m. For all Oklahoma county stats visit: coronavirus.health.ok.gov/.

Background

What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization and declared a global pandemic on March 11, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Learn about COVID-19.

How does the virus spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.

Protection

How can I help protect myself?
Visit the Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19. CDC also recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Level 3 Health Notice Countries. As with any respiratory virus, you can protect yourself and others by taking every day preventative actions:

  • Avoid going in public. If you are well and must leave your home for essential reasons like groceries or health care, practice social distancing and maintain six feet between yourself and others.
  • Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 infection available online.

Testing

Where can I get tested?
Testing for COVID-19 is not available at any Tulsa Health Department location. If you have insurance, contact your health care provider for screening and testing. THD is offering specimen collection for a limited number of individuals who are under- or uninsured who have symptoms of COVID-19. Call 918-582-9355 for a phone screening by a public health professional to determine your eligibility. The specimen collection location is confidential and by appointment only. You will be given instructions for drive-thru services at the time your appointment is made. 

Should I get tested?
If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or you develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and most people with mild symptoms should isolate and care for themselves at homePeople at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild.

How do I discontinue home isolation?
People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:

  • If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
    • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers) AND
    • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
    • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
  • If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
    • You no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers) AND
    • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
    • you received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines.

In all cases, follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and local health department. The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments. Local decisions depend on local circumstances.

 

What is THD doing about COVID-19?

The Tulsa Health Department (THD) along with Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring this outbreak and implementing infection control and isolation protocols to prevent the spread of illness in Oklahoma. Local public health experts in Oklahoma are communicating with and educating health care providers and other public health partners about the current situation. THD, in collaboration with state and federal partners, is monitoring all travelers who return to Tulsa County from China and Iran. Travelers are contacted by health officials and monitored for 14 days following their departure from China and Iran. These individuals are restricted from public settings including work, school and health care settings. Tulsa Health Department epidemiologists perform contact tracing on confirmed cases in Tulsa County to determine potential exposures in the community. As of March 6, 2020, health officials reported the state's first positive COVID-19 case in Tulsa County. You can view updated COVID-19 stats in Oklahoma here

It is also flu season and health officials recommend receiving your annual flu shot, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs and taking flu antivirals if prescribed. See our Flu Page for more information.

Email Updates

Subscribe to our Public Health Emergency Preparedness Updates. View previously issued updates below.
 

Safer at Home

On March 28, 2020, Tulsa Mayor G.T Bynum issued a Safer at Home Order for all Tulsans beginning Sat., March 28 at 11:59 p.m. through April 30* to slow the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this week, the State of Oklahoma issued a Safer at Home Order statewide for those 65 years or older and individuals with underlying medical conditions. Mayor Bynum’s order includes all Tulsans regardless of age. Read full City of Tulsa press release.
*This press release was updated April 1 to extend the order deadline from April 15 to April 30.

State of Oklahoma

City of Tulsa

Tulsa County

    Community Resources

    Federal Resources

    Posters/Handouts/Social Posts

    COVID-19 Call Center

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health has established a call center to answer COVID-19 related questions. The number is 877-215-8336. The call center is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The call center has the capability to connect callers to Spanish-speaking interpreters.

    Tulsa Health Department has a dedicated call center as well available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The number is 918-582-WELL (9355). THD has activated the Stress Response Team with the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) to assist with the response. OKMRC are credentialed volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including many non-medical staff as well. If you or a loved one need help coping with anxiety, grief, worry or other behavioral health issues, you may also consider calling the free Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

    For more information, please dial 2-1-1.

    Resources:

    Guidance for Travelers

    Is it safe to travel to China or other countries where COVID-19 cases have occurred?
    The situation is evolving. Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on location. Stay up to date with CDC’s travel health notices related to this outbreak. These notices will be updated as more information becomes available. CDC does have additional specific guidance for travelers available online. When returning from travel, to slow the spread of COVID-19 into the United States, CDC is working with state and local public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions. Depending on your travel history, you will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice).

    Is it safe to travel within the U.S. where COVID-19 cases have occurred?

    CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. Here are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.

    The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates their COVID-19 travel guidance. Additionally, CDC regularly updates their global map which tracks COVID-19 country transmission levels.

    CDC Guidance for:

    Oklahoma State Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance for: 

    Guidance for Mass Gatherings

    Tulsa Health Department recommends following CDC interim guidance for mass gatherings. This is guidance intended for organizers and staff responsible for planning mass gatherings or large community events in the United States. Everyone can do their part to help plan, prepare, and respond to this emerging public health threat.

    Definition: A mass gathering is a planned or spontaneous event with a large number of people in attendance that could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event. This includes concerts, festivals, conferences, worship services, and sporting events.

    Executive Orders: 

    Social Posts:

    Posters/Handouts:

    Guidance for Social Distancing

    The goals for using mitigation strategies, like social distancing, in communities with local COVID-19 transmission are to slow the transmission of disease and in particular to protect:

    • Individuals at increased risk for severe illness, including older adults and persons of any age with underlying health conditions.
    • The healthcare and critical infrastructure workforces.

    These approaches are used to minimize morbidity and mortality and the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Individuals, communities, businesses and healthcare organizations are all part of a community mitigation strategy. Practice social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    • Stay home (as much as possible) even if you feel well, especially if you are 60 years or older or have health issues.
    • Limit trips to necessary errands such as food and healthcare needs.
    • If you must go out, avoid groups of 10 or more and stay six feet apart from others.

    Guidance for Healthcare Professionals

    Healthcare professionals can find interim guidance (including patient evaluation, reporting, testing, specimen collection, and prevention and control recommendations) on the CDC website: Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals

    The CDC has provided updated PPE sequence guidelines for healthcare workers handling infectious diseases. The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required, such as standard and contact, droplet or airborne infection isolation precautions. The procedure for putting on and removing PPE should be tailored to the specific type of PPE.

    Resources:

    Guidance for Dental Professionals

    To help control the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response. This guidance should be used with CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for patients with COVID-19. This information supplements, but does not replace, the general infection prevention and control (IPC) recommendations for COVID-19.

    Guidance for K-12 administrators

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates their guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. Please check the CDC website periodically for updated interim guidance.

    Child care and K-12 administrators can support their school community by sharing resources with students (if resources are age-appropriate), their families, and staff. Coordinate with local health officials to determine what type of information might be best to share with the school community. Consider sharing the following fact sheets and information sources:

    The Oklahoma State Board of Education unanimously approved an order that implements a Distance Learning Plan to complete the 2019-20 school year for Oklahoma students without reopening school buildings. Read full press release.

    Guidance for Child Care Facilities

    In accordance with CDC guidelines, Oklahoma State Department of Health is issuing the following guidelines for child care providers when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among a facility employee or attendee: 

    • Immediately notify your local child care licensing specialist who may advise the facility to temporarily close for a minimum of 48 hours for investigation and cleaning. If a facility has trouble reaching the local specialist, contact Child Care Services within the Department of Human Services state offices for assistance: 405-521-3561 or toll free: 1-844-834-8314.
    • Close off areas used by the ill person(s) and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets.
    • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area, waiting up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
    • Cleaning staff should disinfect all areas (offices, bathrooms, playground, and common areas) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces. 

    Effective immediately, child care providers are requested to implement the following guidance, consistent with new requirements in accordance with federal guidance and Gov. Kevin Stitt’s recent disaster declaration:

    • Prohibit any person except the following from accessing an operation: operation staff; persons with legal authority to enter, including law enforcement officers, state child care licensing staff, and Department of Human Services’ Family and Protective Services staff; professionals providing services to children; children enrolled at the operation; and parents or legal guardians who have children enrolled and present at the operation.   
    • Require pickup and drop-off of children outside of the operation, unless it's determined that there is a need for the parent to enter an operation.
    • Provide each child with individual meals and snacks. Do not serve family style meals.  
    • Before allowing entry into the operation, screen all individuals listed above, including taking the temperature of each person upon arrival at the operation each day, and deny entry to any person who meets any of the following criteria:
    1. A temperature of 100.4°F or above.
    2. Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and low-grade fever.
    3. In the previous 14 days has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; is under investigation for COVID-19; or is ill with a respiratory illness.
    4. In the previous 14 days has travelled internationally to countries with widespread, sustained community transmission. For updated information on affected countries, visit the CDC site here.

    As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, child care providers should stay in communication with the local licensing specialist for guidance.

    Resources:

    Guidance for Funeral Directors

    The National Funeral Directors Association has published CDC approved guidance regarding coronavirus procedures for Funeral Directors.

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

    During this time, a limited number of Vital Records staff will remain on site to fill online and phone requests. Additionally, staff will be working remotely with hospitals, physicians and funeral directors to assure birth and death records continue to be filed in a timely manner.

    Oklahoma funeral homes can order death certificates through a dedicated portal. While the OSDH does not accept online orders directly, the Office of Vital Records has partnered with VitalChek to make this service available. VitalChek has waived the $6 portal fee for the next 30 days for any funeral director who has not previously accessed the portal.

    For more information on submitting on-line and phone orders, please visit: https://govstatus.egov.com/oklahoma-coronavirus-information.

    You may also email the Vital Records Service at AskVR@health.ok.gov with any additional questions.

    Guidance for Veterinarians

    The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides an FAQ page specifically for veterinarians and veterinary clinics on COVID-19. AVMA has additional resources and information (updated frequently) at avma.org/coronavirus.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides interim guidance for public health professionals managing the home care and isolation of people with COVID-19 who have pets or other animals in the same home. Visit the CDC web page.

    Guidance for Food Industry

    Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of the coronavirus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working in many ways to help keep people safe while the nation is coping with COVID-19. Food availability and food safety are vitally important to our well-being, and the FDA is working hard to help ensure the foods you, your family, and your pets eat are safe and available.

    THD Guidance for Food Safety:

    Poster Printables for Food Establishments:

    Volunteer Resources

    Health Professionals
    Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) is looking for volunteers in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Residents and Non-Profit Organizations
    If you are a residents or a non-profit organization looking to support the regional response to COVID-19, visit Tulsa Area Regional United Way for updated information on how you can help.

    Resources in Other Languages

    CDC Resources/Materials:

    Poster Printables for Food Establishments:

    Oklahoma State Department of Health Materials

    En español

    Distanciamento Social vídeo

    مصادر باللغة العربية

    한국어 자료

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