UPDATE: Stitt Announces He is Positive for COVID-19

Mike Seals - July 15, 2020 10:52 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus and that he is isolating at home, making him the first U.S. governor to report testing positive.

Stitt, 48, said he mostly feels fine, although he started feeling “a little achy” Tuesday and sought a test. He said his wife and children were also tested Tuesday and that none of their results came back positive.

Stitt has backed one of the country’s most aggressive reopening plans, resisted any statewide mandate on masks and rarely wears one himself.

“We respect people’s rights … to not wear a mask,” Stitt said during Wednesday’s news conference, which was held virtually. “You just open up a big can of worms.

“A lot of businesses are requiring it, and that’s fine,” he said. “I’m just hesitant to mandate something that I think is problematic to enforce.”

Stitt attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last month, which health experts have said likely contributed to a surge in coronavirus cases there.

Stitt said he’s confident he didn’t contract the virus at the rally.

“As far as where he became infected, it’s really unknown,” Oklahoma Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said. “It wasn’t so far back as the rally,” which took place nearly a month ago.

Most people infected by the new coronavirus develop mild or moderate symptoms and recover after about two weeks.

The governor doesn’t have any underlying medical conditions that would make him particularly susceptible to serious complications associated with the virus, Stitt’s spokesman Charlie Hannema said.

Frye said contact tracing has begun in Stitt’s case, with a particular emphasis on determining those who may have been within 6 feet of the governor for longer than 15 minutes.

 

 

 

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