Facebook / Stillwater Public Schools

A lawsuit filed by a group of concerned Stillwater Public Schools’ parents was quietly dismissed at the end of March.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department worked with 16 churches to hold a vaccine clinic at Star Spencer High School in northeast Oklahoma City.
Catherine Sweeney / StateImpact Oklahoma

For Voice of Hope pastor Terrell McCoy, the fight against the coronavirus is personal.

Oklahoma spent approximately $4.3 million to rent and staff its contact tracing operation at Shepherd Center through October. The state has closed that Oklahoma City location, which opened in June with approximately 400 employees
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s boost to its COVID-19 contact tracing efforts led to no insights and was marred by technology problems and a failure to collect the proper data, a new legislative report finds.

A healthcare worker fills a syringe with the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

About two-thirds of Oklahoma prison workers and just under half of the inmates have opted not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the state Department of Corrections, a sign that vaccine hesitancy remains high and some facilities may not reach the immunity threshold necessary to prevent future outbreaks.

Oklahoma Opens Vaccine Eligibility To Everyone Over 16

Mar 23, 2021
Janene Stewart, director of operations at Norman Regional Hospital, administers a COVID-19 vaccine in Norman last month on the day teachers and adults with comorbidities became eligible to receive the vaccines.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

About four months after Oklahoma administered its first coronavirus vaccines, it will end its phased release program and open the opportunity to all residents over 16. Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed announced in a media availability that starting March 29, everyone over 16 can register for a vaccine. 

Calumet Elementary School
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lindy Renbarger had to reinvent everything.

The principal of Calumet Elementary is accustomed to doing it all. In her decade at the helm of the school with less than 200 students she’s taken it from a school that scored a “C” on the state report card to regularly getting an “A.”

Janene Stewart, director of operations at Norman Regional Hospital, administers a COVID-19 vaccine in Norman on Feb. 22, 2021, the day teachers and adults with comorbidities became eligible to receive the vaccines.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

State public health officials are feeling optimistic about the pace of vaccinations and lower cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19, leading to changes this week in Oklahoma’s nursing home visitation policies and a new phase in the vaccination rollout.

Oklahoma Watch

In an Executive Order issued Friday, March 12, Governor Kevin Stitt extended Oklahoma's state of emergency in all 77 counties due to COVID-19, but ended restrictions on events and masking in state government buildings. The Executive Order noted Oklahoma has reported 431,366 novel coronavirus cases, but added that 24% of Oklahomans have received at least one vaccination. The new order will remain in effect for thirty days. The governor also updated the state's guidelines for visitation in long-term care facilities.

Oklahoma officials provide COVID update during a press conference on March 11, 2021.
Screen capture

On the one-year anniversary of the canceled Oklahoma City Thunder game that marked the pandemic's arrival in the United States, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced an end to the state’s already limited coronavirus safeguards.

Oklahoma Vaccine Phase Plan
Oklahoma State Department of Health / Oklahoma State Department of Health

Oklahoma has opened its coronavirus vaccine eligibility to phase 3, which means most Oklahomans are now eligible.

As Vaccine Supplies Increase, Oklahoma Opens Next Groups For COVID-19 Shots

Mar 7, 2021
Janene Stewart, director of operations at Norman Regional Hospital, administers a COVID-19 vaccine in Norman last month on the day teachers and adults with comorbidities became eligible to receive the vaccines.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma next week will open more groups to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as the state now has more than one-third of its adult population with at least one dose.

NIAID Coronavirus Prevention Network/National Institute of Health

Oklahoma legislators have a busy week ahead with each house needing to address approximately 300 bills by the Thursday, March 11 deadline. Expect some late nights at the Capitol over the next few days. Also soon, Governor Kevin Stitt is expected to provide clarification on regulations concerning the state's ongoing COVID-19 response. His latest executive order is set to expire on March 15. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss that deadline facing the governor's office, and more, in this week's Capitol Insider.


This is the Manager’s Minute. 

NPR’s four primary goals this year are to reach audiences where they are, provide on-demand programming, emphasize diversity, equity and inclusion, and diversify and strengthen fundraising. We plan to do the same at KGOU.  


Oklahoma Health Officials Look To Refine Pandemic Death Reporting

Mar 2, 2021
Headstones are shown in an Oklahoma City cemetery.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma public health officials are hoping to close a widening gap when it comes to recording deaths related to COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Should Arrive In Oklahoma This Week

Mar 1, 2021
The first boxes of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are loaded into a truck for shipment from the McKesson facility in Shepherdsville, Ky., Monday, March 1, 2021.
Timothy D. Easley / AP

As expected, the new Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine secured federal approval and is on its way to Oklahoma.

Legislative Service Bureau (LSB) Photography

With the first deadline looming for passing or rejecting legislation, the Oklahoma legislature moved quickly to make up for time lost during the recent snowstorm and extreme cold. The highest profile cases gave an indication of the direction the session is heading - toward stronger states rights and less federal control while further restricting abortion, protests and limitations on statements made on social media.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Could Arrive In Oklahoma During First Week Of March

Feb 26, 2021
A nurse draws Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine into a syringe Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma could soon see shipments of the new single-shot coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson as early as next week.

‘Kids Need To Be In School:’ In-Person Learning In El Reno, Oklahoma

Feb 25, 2021
A sign at the entrance of El Reno High School. Masks are required for students, staff and visitors at the district.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

El Reno Public Schools hasn’t had guests all school year.

“We literally don’t let our parents come yet,” superintendent Craig McVay said.

Oklahoma Begins Vaccinating Most Teachers And School Support Staff

Feb 22, 2021

Monday was the first day most teachers and school support staff in Oklahoma could be vaccinated for COVID-19.

State Department of Education

Everyone is eager for schools to offer more in-person classroom instruction, and with vaccinations becoming available for teachers and staff that goal is edging closer to reality. Coronavirus has not only forced schools, teachers, parents and students to adjust, but it has led to a re-examination of the future of education. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister discusses what lies ahead for Oklahoma schools with KGOU's Dick Pryor in Capitol Insider.