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Less Than 600 Tests Administered Countywide

 

April 16, 2020

CPN Photo provided

COVID-19 tests being given recently at a drive-thru site located on Citizen Potawatomi Nation land.

There are currently three community-testing sites in Pottawatomie County for COVID-19. According to sources representing each site, the cumulative number of tests reportedly administered, countywide, numbers less than 600 - total.

One site was out of tests by Tuesday this week and another is reportedly able to test 10-25 a day by appointment. The third has a total 450 swabs available for testing.

With three deaths documented, as of Tuesday, Pottawatomie County reflects the eighth highest number of COVID-19 fatalities in the state, tied with Creek and Canadian counties, according the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). Population wise, Pottawatomie County is the ninth most populated, with an estimated 72,000 residents in 2019, according to http://www.oklahoma-demographics.com.

Confirmed positive cases in Pottawatomie County totaled 26 on Tuesday. Fifteen counties listed more confirmed coronavirus cases that same day, as reported by OSDH. Therefore, according to the number of officially confirmed cases, 61 counties in Oklahoma reportedly less impacted by the virus.

Community Health Shawnee Family Medical Center opened for three days of testing last week.

"We performed about 60 tests in the past three days," said Isabella Lawson, chief executive officer of Community Health Center of Oklahoma, on Friday, April 10.

Lawson said the Shawnee location planned to continue testing patients beginning at 1 p.m., every Tuesday and Thursday by appointment. She estimated being able to perform about 20 tests per day. Still, she said that number would probably have to be reduced to 10 soon due to the struggle to obtain tests.

"It's horrible, really horrible," she said. "It's definitely been a huge issue getting the testing kits."

When the 1 p.m. testing time rolled around Tuesday, however, there were no signs pointing vehicles to the location and no staff in protective gear. There were no tests available.

When a worker from the lab arrived to collect test samples for processing, the facility had none to send.

Two tests, system wide, have been confirmed positive for the coronavirus by the group.

As of Monday, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation had tested 216 total patients, with six confirmed positives and results still pending on 63 tests, said CPN Public Information Officer Jennifer Bell. An additional 450 of the test swabs were available for use.

At the Pottawatomie County Health Department, an estimated 214 total tests have been collected, said Public Information Officer Sara King on Tuesday.

"They are currently able to test 10-25 per day," she said with appointments typically being scheduled for the day of or the following day; however, she did not know the total numbers of test kits available as of press time.

King said the number of tests made available to Pottawatomie County is determined by several factors, including how quickly supplies are dispatched from the central office to the district headquarters in Norman. Tests sent to the Norman office are then rationed out to the different district sites in six counties, on a week-by-week determination.

CPN Photo provided

According to the state's daily Executive Order COVID-19 Report released Tuesday, 40,551 was the number of tests stated available, with a footnote that read, "number of COVID-19 collection kits available for use at the hospital to collect specimens for testing."

As of Tuesday, the 15 counties with more positive coronavirus cases than Pottawatomie, confirmed by OSDH, were as follows: Oklahoma, 455; Tulsa, 337; Cleveland, 267; Washington, 114; Wagoner, 73; Delaware, 63; Canadian, 57; Creek, 56; Osage, 56; Comanche, 51; Greer, 50; and Kay, 54; Payne, 29; Adair, 27; and Pawnee, 27.

 

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