Oklahoma health department urges virus testing after events

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
06/25/2020 01:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A day after President Donald Trump held a campaign rally on June 20 at an indoor arena in Tulsa, the Oklahoma State Department of Health urged anyone who has recently attended a large-scale event to be tested for the coronavirus.

The department did not specify any event in its news release.

Nearly 6,200 people attended Trump's rally at Tulsa's BOK Center. The campaign did not require attendees to wear face masks to guard against the spread of the coronavirus. And just hours before the rally began, the campaign announced that six staffers had tested positive.

The state health department recommends that people take a test before and after attending such events and encourages participants to wear face masks and practice social distancing. The Trump campaign handed out masks to attendees as they arrived, but the majority did not wear one, including the president.

“Personal responsibility remains key in protecting yourself and our local communities from COVID-19. We continue to encourage Oklahomans to consider wearing a mask, to routinely wash hands, and to use physical distancing measures," interim state Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said in the news release.

“As a society, we face a delicate balance of creating a new normal that takes into account public health, mental health, and economic risks. It will take all of us working together, as one State, to overcome the many challenges COVID-19 presents until there is a widely available vaccine,” according to Frye, who warned of a surge in coronavirus cases after the state began reopening in late April.

As of June 22, there were at least 10,733 confirmed cases of the virus in the state and 369 deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, the health department reported, an increase of 218 cases and one death from a day earlier.

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