By Ryan Horton
This week the way coronavirus is viewed by the nation seemingly changed with events unfolding right here in Oklahoma.
Residents are asked to keep spring and summer schedules flexible as the recently declared COVID-19 pandemic is expected to continue to cause cancellations.
Just over an hour before the Choctaw High School and Jones High School girls’ basketball teams were set to tipoff in the State Basketball Tournament, officials announced those games would be delayed indefinitely.
Officials with the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association announced they will postpone all OSSAA-sponsored events amid growing coronavirus concerns.
The news came just before 1 p.m. March 12.
“Our Staff will continue to work with the State Health Department in monitoring the situation. The health and safety of all Oklahomans is a priority,” announced the OSSAA.
The 2020 state tournaments were set to be held March 12-14 at the State Fair Arena and ORU Mabee Center in Tulsa.
The 5A-6A Regional Speech Tournaments and music activities are also postponed.
The OSSAA announcement came the day after the postponement of the NBA season following a positive coronavirus result of a Utah Jazz player in Oklahoma City.
The same day NCAA announced winter and spring college sports will not have championships this year.
Choctaw-Nicoma Park Schools started spring break one day early, and the district has cancelled all out of state travel this spring.
“We have always stated that student safety and well-being is our top priority, therefore, we are taking precautionary measures to prevent anyone from being exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-10),” said superintendent Dr. Jim McCharen. “This decision was made after careful consideration and collaboration with large school metro superintendents.”
CNP Schools set in place a policy of requiring a 14-day self-quarantine period and medical clearance for students to return to school if they or a family member has traveled to an area rated as a Level 2 or 3 by the Center for Disease Control.
Oklahoma college campuses are taking similar action with extended spring breaks, and some are even moving classes online.
An updated list of areas with widespread and ongoing community spread of COVID-19 can be found at www.cdc.org.
Three Oklahomans have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. However, one patient has recovered leaving two active cases.
The CDC recommends these steps if you’ve been to a Level 2 or 3 area:
Stay home for 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread and practice social distancing.
Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
What To Do If You Get Sick
If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
Avoid contact with others.
If you need to seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.