The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 37 new COVID-19 cases in Stillwater and 40 overall in Payne County today. According to the Payne County Health Department, approximately 70% of the new cases are within the 18-35 year old age group.
“Due to the overall high patient census, Stillwater Medical Center is feeling the pressure in staffing. The only answer to this situation is for everyone to take the CDC guidance seriously,” Stillwater City Manager Norman McNickle said. “We hope this is simply a spike similar to what we experienced in July, and that our number of positive cases will decrease.”
CDC guidance includes:
- Wear a mask or face covering
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid close contact with others
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect
- Monitor your health
McNickle is also worried how this jump in positive cases will affect the general Stillwater population, including those most vulnerable.
“If you think about it, the 18-24 year olds are often the ones waiting tables, stocking shelves and working other customer service roles. While they are often not symptomatic, this makes it more likely they can spread the virus to more people.”
In addition to community-wide concerns, Stillwater Public Schools (SPS) are affected, too. According to SPS Public Relations and Communications Coordinator Barry Fuxa, this spike in cases also pushes the schools into Orange Level 2, as per the State School Board coded system. Find updates and information on this at https://www.stillwaterschools.com/.
The City continues to work closely with OSU, Payne County Health Department, Stillwater Medical Center and other local organizations to keep the community safe, informed and healthy. OSU is in the middle of its campus reopening plan called “Cowboys Coming Back,” which includes policies and guidelines for contact tracing, COVID-19 testing, touch-point cleaning and personal health responsibilities. For more information, visit https://go.okstate.edu/coronavirus/campus-reopening-plan/plan-at-a-glance/index.html.
“It’s important to remember that our individual actions can affect the community as a whole— so let’s continue to protect our neighbors by washing our hands, wearing a face covering and avoiding crowds,” City Manager Norman McNickle said. “Let’s work together as a community to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
Anyone experiencing symptoms or that may have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is asked to contact their healthcare provider or the County Health Department for testing. Residents are encouraged to follow the Payne County Health Department Facebook page for up-to-date information on testing opportunities.