3/19/2020 4:00:00 AM
Tulsa Health Department officials confirm a Tulsa County resident has died due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. A man in his 50s who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 17 passed away due to complications on March 18. The epidemiological investigation is ongoing.
“It is with great sadness that I confirm that a Tulsa County resident has passed away due to COVID-19,” said Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “This is a tragedy for our community. In these unprecedented times, everyone feels the weight of this loss. COVID-19 has impacted our community on a monumental level, but today I ask you to take a moment to pause and recognize that a family has lost their loved one. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Tulsa County has confirmed 4 cases of COVID-19 to date, with 29 cases statewide. Three Tulsa County cases were travel-associated. The investigation to determine the source of contagion for the fourth case is ongoing. The latest available numbers from the CDC indicate there have been 7,038 confirmed cases and 97 deaths in the U.S.
“We have confirmed the first loss in our community from COVID-19. As a city, we mourn for the loss of our neighbor and we think of his family,” Tulsa Mayor G.T.Bynum said. “We must remain vigilant to the spread of this virus and continue to take care of each other.”
Testing capabilities remain limited in Oklahoma. Individuals with symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath are advised to stay home and limit person-to-person engagement. Call your health care provider to discuss your symptoms. Emergency rooms should be utilized only for medical emergencies. Tulsa County residents are encouraged to implement social distancing and avoid large crowds and gatherings to slow the spread of the disease. Frequent handwashing and disinfecting of surfaces are imperative to limit the spread.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of Oklahoma’s first death from COVID-19. Sarah and I send our sincere condolences and ask Oklahomans to join us in praying for his family and loved ones,” Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said. “My highest priority is the safety and well-being of every Oklahoman and I will deploy every resource available to protect the health of all of our families, friends and neighbors.”