• The Southwestern

4,500 COVID-19 deaths in U.S., 30 in Oklahoma

Updated: Jun 24

More than 200,000 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and the number of deaths hits 4,500. Custer County has confirmed 4 cases of the coronavirus.


Empty tracks in New York. The state has emerged as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Photo provided by Unsplash.

By Johannes Becht

News Reporter The Coronavirus pandemic is spreading more and more around the world and across the United States. There are now more than 200,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and many more cases pending. Worldwide, 910,000 cases are confirmed. More than 4,500 people have died in the U.S., compared to over 45,000 worldwide.

What's the latest news? In Oklahoma, 719 cases have been confirmed, and 30 people died from the virus. Custer County has experienced only 4 cases, among them an elderly woman from Weatherford. Oklahoma County has the most cases in the Sooner State (155).


After President Donald Trump announced a national emergency on Friday, March 13, Governor Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency for Oklahoma. Weatherford mayor Mike Brown has declared a state of emergency for the city of Weatherford. Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt has ordered all nonessential business in counties with cases of COVID-19 to close. This affects Weatherford, since it county Custer has confirmed 4 cases. Also, gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Oklahoma City has closed its playgrounds. New York emerges as the epicenter of the pandemic. More than 75,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state and over 1,000 people died. New York City now seems more like a ghost town. New York's governor Cuomo just announced that he was tested positive.

Throughout the country, people are strongly advised to stay at home. Some states have stay-at-home orders (for example New York and California). In Las Vegas, only very small amounts of people are seen on the Strip. The number of outbreaks and deaths in the United States is likely to skyrocket within the next weeks. Experts warn that up to or even more than 70% of the population could get the virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House's coronavirus task force, told CNN on Sunday that the United States could see far more than 100,000 deaths.


President Donald Trump said on Sunday that keeping US Covid-19 deaths under 100,000 would be a "very good job". He extended social distancing rules to April 30.


Meanwhile, President Trump signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a massive stimulus package that includes direct financial help for American families and businesses.


The stimulus package also includes $14 billion for higher education. But SWOSU's President Randy Beutler warned on Tuesday that "many feel that the need of public colleges will be much more than that due to this crisis."


On the state level, according to Beutler, it is expected that "with use of reserve funds (Rainy Day Fund), the state will attempt to keep every agency at the same funding level as it was the year before.

Online classes at SWOSU "Southwestern Oklahoma State University is moving to fully virtual course delivery for the remainder of Spring Semester 2020. This decision was made to further our efforts to reduce the number of individuals on campus."


>>>Check out impressions from the SWOSU campus<<<


Furthermore, SWOSU students is given the opportunity to chose a pass/no-pass grading for their courses in Spring Semester 2020. The deadline to drop courses with a guaranteed "W" has been extended to April 10.


SWOSU is considered an essential business and therefore continues to operate on a limited basis: There will be limited access to buildings on the SWOSU campus and the administration encourages all students to stay away from the campus. Housing residents are encouraged to vacate. Students who will move out will get a refund. SWOSU students who want to stay in the dorms needed to apply for permission. Food will be available at the Grill from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering grab-and-go meals, and also during the weekend. You can order meals in advance at the Grill by calling 580-774-3784 in order to limit personal contact.

Al Harris Library is closed. In Stafford 128, a computer lab will be open for student use only between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you need the lab between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., please call Karen Klein at 580-330-0008. All in-person activities and events are cancelled on campus through May 10. SWOSUpalooza was postponed to August 20. >>>Read here the full update by SWOSU<<< What can I do? First - don't panic. The virus is not dangerous in most cases. The highest mortality rate is among people who are 80 years and older (21.9%). If you are young, you'll probably be fine, even if you get the virus. In this case, avoid having contact with people around you in order to prevent the virus from being passed on and on. Second - wash your hands regularly, 20 seconds minimum. If no soap is available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose and stay away from people who appear to be sick. Third - social distancing. Try to avoid having direct face-to-face contact with people. If you talk to people, try to stay away 6 feet and avoid body contact such as shaking hands. Symptoms include fever and lower respiratory illness. If you exhibit signs, please reach out. If you have health concerns related to flu-like symptoms, contact University Health Services at 580-774-3776 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Can I track the virus? Johns Hopkins University has created a map that is tracking the virus around the world (mobile version below):


Mobile version:

SWOSU is continuously monitoring this outbreak. Please let SWOSU PD know if you have any questions or concerns, at 580-774-3111. >>>Read more about the Coronavirus<<<

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