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StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma House Approves Bill Allowing Police To Use Telemedicine In The Field

Mar 4, 2021
police sirens
Highway Patrol Images / Flickr

The Oklahoma State House approved a bill Wednesday that attempts to phase police out of some mental health crisis transports and allow officers to use telemedicine in the field.

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.

Gov. Kevin Stitt and legislators celebrating a budget deal in the waning days of the 2019 legislative session.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma has made some big changes to its justice system in recent years. Activists and lawmakers proposed big picture reforms and some of the suggestions succeeded.

Oklahoma lawmakers have their work cut out for them on the health front.

Education Issues To Watch During Oklahoma’s 2021 Legislative Session

Feb 16, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic turned education on its head.

Measures introduced in the 2021 session are designed to combat new issues faced by schools because of the coronavirus as well as address old ones that were exacerbated by the pandemic.

Gov. Kevin Stitt said during a Jan. 29 press conference that Oklahoma needs to improve its health outcomes, which now rank 46th in the nation.
Ben Felder / The Frontier

Oklahoma is fundamentally transforming how it uses Medicaid, despite major opposition from the medical community and from the Legislature.

It was announced that starting the week of Feb. 22, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the next priority groups in Phase 2 of the state's vaccine distribution plan, including Oklahomans under 65 with comorbidities and teachers and staff in Pre-K-12
Sue Ogrocki / AP

More than one million Oklahomans will soon be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine as the state is moving forward into the next stages of its vaccine plan.

Oklahoma Hopes To Start Vaccinating Teachers By The End Of February

Feb 9, 2021

It appears Oklahoma teachers, who were bumped up a priority group in December, may start receiving COVID-19 vaccinations by the end of the month.

Oklahoma Educators Are At Frontlines Of Remembering Tulsa Race Massacre

Feb 4, 2021
In 2018, the teachers attending Tulsa Public Schools' Tulsa Race Massacre Institute visit the John Hope Franklin Center.
Tulsa Public Schools

George Monroe recalled bits and pieces of the Tulsa Race Massacre up until the end of his life.

The images never could escape his memory.

“I remember seeing people getting shot,” he said In a 1999 oral history.

Rev. Derrick Scobey, Ebenezer Baptist Church Senior Pastor, helped to organize the event in an effort to encourage more African Americans in Oklahoma City to receive the vaccine.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

For the first time in months, coronavirus cases are down in Oklahoma and medical experts are cautiously optimistic the trend will continue.

Legislative Service Bureau Photography. / Legislative Service Bureau Photography.

In his speech marking the start of the year’s legislative session on Monday, Governor Kevin Stitt didn’t mention ongoing efforts to reduce the state’s prison population and overhaul the criminal justice system.

The Oklahoma Senate
Becky McCray / Flickr

The state Legislature’s session was badly disrupted last year by the pandemic . It’s back starting Monday, and faces a long list of pressing issues and unfinished work from 2020. StateImpact health reporter Chatherine Sweeney, education reporter Robby Korth, and criminal justice reporter Quinton Chandler met with Republican Oklahoma Senate President Pro Temp Greg Treat to talk about his priorities before the gavel drops next week, and share their thoughts on where lawmakers are focusing their attention.

Rev. Derrick Scobey, Ebenezer Baptist Church Senior Pastor, helped to organize the event in an effort to encourage more African Americans in Oklahoma City to receive the vaccine.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Although not confirmed, state health officials suspect the new coronavirus variants have made it to Oklahoma. The new strains are more contagious, but medical experts are hopeful about treatment and vaccines.

As Daily COVID-19 Case Counts Drop In Oklahoma, Daily Death Rates Expectedly Continue To Rise

Jan 25, 2021
Medical staff prepare to swab another patient being tested for COVID-19 at an Oklahoma City site on May 8. Most of staff working at the site were women.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s coronavirus case counts and hospitalizations are trending down for the first time in months. Unfortunately, deaths are not.

COVID-19 Continues To Create Challenges For Oklahoma Classrooms

Jan 22, 2021
A display of typical school supplies and electronic devices being distributed to Oklahoma City Public School students is pictured at Eugene Field Elementary School, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Across Oklahoma, many schools are attempting in-person learning despite the continuing challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A letter Jan Cervenka wrote StateImpact included a complaint he filed with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and several of Great Plains' internal memorandums
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Testing, masking, and quarantine standards are a few of the concerns Jan Cervenka has with the COVID-19 response at Great Plains Correctional Facility in Hinton.

Pre-K teacher Elvia Walters heads out the door with a bag with school supplies and an iPad for one of her students Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Eugene Field Elementary School, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Quarantining after a COVID-19 exposure will now be optional in Oklahoma classrooms if students and teachers are wearing a mask.

Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister answers a question at the Central Oklahoma PPE distribution warehouse where supplies for schools are being distributed Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma’s State Board of Education is asking for a funding increase for the state's schools in this year’s legislative session.

Legislative Service Bureau (LSB) Photography

This is the Manager’s Minute.  

Recent events in Washington, D.C. stunned the nation. The rioting in the Capitol also reminded us of the importance of reliable, timely and accurate reporting, especially during adversity.  


Oklahoma Public Schools See Largest Enrollment Drop In At Least Four Decades

Jan 7, 2021

Public school enrollment in Oklahoma plummeted amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to October 1 enrollment data released Thursday by Oklahoma’s State Department of Education.