Mr. Stitt said he was tested for the virus on Tuesday but it was unclear what time. Asked why he had not worn a mask at the morning Land Office meeting, Mr. Stitt said he has since notified the two people he sat closest to, Mr. Pinnell and Blayne Arthur, the state agriculture secretary, that he had tested positive for the virus.
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 15, 2020
Is the coronavirus airborne?
- The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
What’s the best material for a mask?
Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?
- A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.
I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?
- The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.
What is pandemic paid leave?
- The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.
Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?
- So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?
- Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.
How does blood type influence coronavirus?
- A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.
How can I protect myself while flying?
- If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
What should I do if I feel sick?
“Those two were probably six feet away from me,” Mr. Stitt said.
Photographs of the meeting show Mr. Stitt sitting at the head of a conference table, with the lieutenant governor leaning in to his immediate left and the agriculture secretary to his right. Mr. Stitt appears to be sitting closer than six feet to them. Paul Monies, a reporter for Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit online news outlet, covered the meeting, and said it looked to him as if the governor at times could have been closer than six feet.
Mr. Monies tested positive for the virus after covering the president’s rally in Tulsa, and had recently returned to work. He said that although he was wearing a mask at the meeting, he is now considering getting tested again.
“It was my first in-person meeting back from quarantine,” Mr. Monies said.
Oklahoma was among the first states to reopen its economy, with stores, barbershops and salons opening back up on April 24. At the time, the state had just 3,100 cases. New infections were holding steady — with an average of 94 new cases a day — but not on a sustained decrease, the path that is recommended by public health experts before reopening.
Restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and houses of worship were allowed to reopen shortly afterward, on May 1. Bars — a known source of new infections across the country — reopened on May 15.
By early June, there were signs of worrisome spread. On June 12, Oklahoma surpassed more than 200 new confirmed daily cases for the first time. A little more than a month later, the state has recorded more than 21,000 cases, and the positive test rate is about 8.5 percent, among the highest in months.
Mr. Stitt has been slow to embrace measures recommended by public health experts, such as issuing stay-at-home orders and mandating face coverings in public. While he shut down businesses in the state this spring, he is among a handful of governors who never issued formal orders for residents to stay at home during the pandemic, and he only recently encouraged Oklahomans to wear masks.