Oklahoma Sec. of Health Jerome Loughridge Wants to Give COVID-19 A Shot to the ChinThu, 26 Mar 2020 17:09:52 CDT
Rural Oklahoma has not yet experienced a major COVID-19 outbreak, but Oklahoma Secretary of Health Jerome Loughridge says our rural health care system is gearing up for this vicious enemy. He talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays late Thursday and expressed optimism about the current state of readiness.
The rural hospitals have really stepped up and are making excellent plans on how to handle an outbreak, Loughridge said.
He advised we are at the very early stages of this and we may have weeks, if not months left.
The good news, Loughridge said, is that 85 percent of those infected will recover, and this will move through about like the seasonal flu. He is most concerned about the more vulnerable people, especially those in our long-term care facilities.
The real temptation for rural areas is to become complacent if your area doesn’t have a major outbreak. Especially now that the weather is warming, and we want to do things together again.
“Science tells us if we just lock down for the next three weeks, hit it hard, Loughridge said, and if get a chin shot in early, the opponent is weakened for the duration.”
He said If we follow this stay at home advice until the end of April, we will see a significantly lower movement of this virus.
The Health Secretary said there is valid logic why they have not locked down the entire state.
We are really fighting a two-prong attack, he said, one on the health front and one on the economic front.
It really comes down to persevering economic activity as much as possible so when we come out on the other end of this thing, the economic engine will be at least warm and not need a cold start.
If severe storms force folks to seek shelters, Loughridge advises seeking appropriate shelter and they are working with weather forecasters now to deliver specific COVID-19 advice.
In addition, the state is working on pilot projects for remote testing sites around Oklahoma. The first two sites, in Kay and Pittsburg Counties, taught us lot about traffic flow and other things, Loughridge. He said they will be moving those mobile units to other areas soon.
You can hear Ron Hays' complete interview with Sec. Loughridge by clicking on the listen bar below.
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