Positive Test Numbers Increase In Pottawatomie County
September 3, 2020
Sept. 1 – Since Aug. 20, Tecumseh's first day back to school, the district has announced eight school employees at five sites have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Across Pottawatomie County, 241 new positive cases have been reported during the same time, with the majority located in Shawnee and McLoud, according to data from the Oklahoma Department of Health. Long-term care facilities have also seen a significant increase in positive cases recently.
Tecumseh Public Schools announced two more COVID-19 positive employees at their early childhood sites this week and Tuesday announced the first case at the middle school.
On Sunday, Superintendent Tom Wilsie said in a letter to parents that a substitute teacher at Barnard Elementary had tested positive. The next day, Aug. 31, the second announcement was posted regarding a positive employee at Cross Timbers Elementary. Today, a third announcement was posted due to a positive employee at the middle school.
"All individuals, students, and employees, who may have come into contact with this individual, will be contacted by school officials as soon as possible, and the Pottawatomie County Health Department in the next day or so," states all three announcement letters.
"Any individual, student, or employee, who is found to have been in close contact, will be required to quarantine for 14 days per CDC and Oklahoma State Department of Health guidelines."
In all, August virus numbers rose across most Pottawatomie County communities, with several schools reporting at least one positive student or staff member.
Countywide, total cases more than doubled during August with 480 new COVID-19 cases added to the 383 already listed to finish out the month with 863 total cases - 236 of which were considered active on Aug. 31, according to OSDH.
Roughly half of August's positive in the county have been attributed to an outbreak among inmates at McLoud's Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. According to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, more than 175 inmates and 29 staff members have tested positive.
OSDH data reflected the significant outbreak with case numbers for the city of McLoud jumping by about 100 twice during August. On Aug. 1, OSDH listed McLoud with 45 total positive cases. By Aug. 31, that number had increased by 227 for a cumulative total of 272 cases.
Shawnee also saw a significant rise in positive cases. As of Aug. 1, the city of Shawnee had a reported cumulative total of 265 cases. By month's end, 183 new COVID-19 cases had been added for a new cumulative total of 448 positive tests, with 97 still considered active according to OSDH data.
In the 74801 zip code, 93 new cases were added during the month for a cumulative total of 241 on Aug. 31, and 88 new cases were added in the 74804 area to finish out the month with 200 total cases reported. OSDH announced two COVID-19 related deaths in August - a Shawnee (74804) male age 65 or older and a female from McLoud aged 50-64.
New cases in area nursing homes were also reported. In June, state officials listed eight total positive coronavirus patients in Pottawatomie County. Two more positives were confirmed in July. August saw an increase of 13 new cases, for a total of 24 residents reportedly testing positive by Aug. 31. The state showed five confirmed cases at Shawnee Colonial Estates Nursing Home.
Today's Executive Order Report added another three positive cases for a new total of 27 long-term care residents - six at Colonial Estates and one at Primrose Retirement Community of Shawnee.
Throughout the rest of the county, Tuesday's totals from OSDH are as follows (*denotes multi-county towns):
• 84 Tecumseh cases, with 53 listed as recovered and therefore 31 active cases;
• 58 Prague* cases, with 2 considered active;
• 31 Meeker* cases, with 6 still active;
• 29 cases in Konawa*, with 1 (Seminole County) fatality, 20 recovered and 8 active.
• 21 Earlsboro* cases, with 5 still active;
• 18 Maud* cases, with 2 still active;
• 13 recovered in the Asher/74826 area;
• 12 Macomb cases, with 5 still active;
• 9 Wanette cases, with 1 still active.
OSDH has reported no cases in St. Louis.
OSDH defines recovered as, "Currently not hospitalized or deceased and 14 days after onset/report."