StateImpact Oklahoma | KGOU

StateImpact Oklahoma

Daniel Hargreaves / Flickr

Oklahoma has seen its second case of rabies in a bat in the past six weeks and health officials say it’s a good reminder to take precautions against the disease.

Oklahoma Commissioner of Health, Dr. Lance Frye, wears a face mask as he listens to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speak at a news conference Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

As Oklahoma’s coronavirus cases climb, the state has reached a new record for its seven-day average.


Registered nurse Raquel Hernandez reaches in to swab a passenger for a COVID-19 test at a mobile testing site at the Murray County Expo Center in Sulphur, Okla., Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Sulphur, Okla.
Sue Ogrocki / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is nearing one thousand deaths from COVID-19 complications. Like everywhere else, the people dying here have a high rate of what are called comorbidities, or underlying health conditions. They make it harder for the body to fight the virus, and they make death from it more likely.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel
Screen capture / YouTube

Oklahoma City Public Schools are planning to come back for in-person learning ahead of schedule amid struggles to conduct distance learning.

Eddie Warrior Correctional Center

An Oklahoma prisoner who tested positive for COVID-19 died in a hospital on Saturday. The woman was admitted to the hospital with COVID symptoms.

A woman waves from a prison window at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in 2019.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma prisoner who tested positive for COVID-19 died in a hospital on Saturday. The woman was admitted to the hospital with COVID symptoms.

Tempers Flare After Oklahoma County Sends CARES Money To Jail

Sep 3, 2020
The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners has been heavily criticized for transferring $34 million in CARES Act funding to the Oklahoma County Jail.
Screen capture / Oklahoma County

A woman raising her three grandchildren in Bethany was facing eviction after she lost her job to the COVID-19 pandemic. She called Dan Straughan for help but he wasn’t sure what he could do. Straughan is executive director of the Homeless Alliance in Oklahoma City.

University of Oklahoma Seed Sower Statue With Coronavirus Mask
Richard Bassett / KGOU

The White House Coronavirus Task Force released its most recent report on Oklahoma this week. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports that the document offers new advice to officials in university towns.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and Gov. Kevin Stitt provide COVID-19 update on 9/1/2020
Screen capture / Facebook

Mask mandates continue to be top of mind for Oklahoma officials. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports that as one city council voted to extend theirs, other officials maintained that containing the spread should rest on personal responsibility.

COVID-19 Cases Increase In State Prisons

Aug 31, 2020
Eddie Warrior Correctional Center

There were at least 504 COVID-19 cases inside just one state prison on Friday. StateImpact’s Quinton Chandler reports nearly 900 prisoners are infected with the disease across the state and hundreds of test results are still pending.

Oklahoma House Democrats are criticizing Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt for his response to the coronavirus and calling for the creation of a bipartisan task force.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s  administration has taken a step forward with COVID-19 transparency, but as StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports, other officials continue to raise concerns.

More Than 90% Of Oklahoma School Districts Are Doing Some Kind Of In Person Schooling

Aug 27, 2020
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

More than 90% of Oklahoma school districts are doing some kind of in person schooling. StateImpact’s Robby Korth reports on the effects of in person instruction and how the state is fighting the coronavirus pandemic as it spreads into educational institutions.

Oklahoma’s State Board Of Education To Discuss Schools’ COVID-19 Protocols

Aug 26, 2020
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

Oklahoma’s State Board of Education will meet Thursday to talk about schools’ COVID-19 protocols. StateImpact’s Robby Korth reports the board will discuss how reopening has gone across the state during the first few weeks of classes. 

Oklahoma Schools' COVID-19 Guidelines Are Widely Ignored By Many Rural Districts

Aug 24, 2020
Stilwell Superintendent Geri Gilstrap originally recommended the district start the school year with distance learning, but the Stilwell Board of Education voted in favor of the community's wishes to reopen in-person classes.
Faith Phillips / Stilwll High School

The 800 residents of Dewar have been fairly split.

Half of the eastern Oklahoma town’s parents told the local school district they refused to send their children to school with a mask, Superintendent Todd Been said. The other half wouldn’t send their children unless everyone wore one.

Registered nurses Geri Taylor, left, and Joni Phelps, go through paperwork at a mobile testing site for COVID_19 at the Murray County Expo Center in Sulphur, Okla., Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma has been in a nursing shortage for decades, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the problem. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports on the unique strain COVID-19 has placed on hospital nursing teams.

Screen capture

In less than five minutes two of Oklahoma County’s three county commissioners voted to transfer more than $34 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to the county jail trust. The board of county commissioners ignored days of protests against the move from local residents and one of their fellow commissioners.

The Oklahoma County Jail.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Despite controversy and legal concerns, Oklahoma County will allot nearly all of its coronavirus relief funding to its jail.

Shawnee Public Schools custodian Lavonne Harris wipes down a door knob at the district’s central office.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma has continued allotting its $1.2 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding, but education officials worry that might not be enough. 

"Alfalfa" Bill Murray
Oklahoma Historical Society

When Oklahoma A&M officials told Alfalfa Bill Murray they wanted to put his name on a university building in 1935, he wasn’t sure it was a good idea.

State Question 805 Qualifies For 2020 Ballot

Jul 30, 2020
Proponents of State Question 805 gathered for a rally in Oklahoma City.
Photo provided.

The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that enough voter signatures were collected to put a question regarding sentence enhancements for nonviolent offenders on the Nov. 3 ballot.