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County COVID-19 Deaths Rise to 17

Virus Outbreak At Jail Puts Pottawatomie In the Red Zone


November 5, 2020

An institutional virus outbreak landed Pottawatomie County in the red this week and another local fatality reported on Tuesday increased total COVID-19 county deaths to 17.

Shawnee was also listed as having the third highest increase in new cases in the last three weeks, with Tulsa second and Oklahoma City first, according to the White House coronavirus Task Force report released Thursday. On average, 165 new COVID-19 confirmed hospital patients were admitted to each day from Oct. 17-23, the report states.

The location of the outbreak was confirmed to be the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center according to Jackie Kanak, regional director for Pottawatomie County (Region 6), and Anthony Triana, Saxium media relations supervisor on behalf of the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Multiple calls to County Safety Center Director Breonna Thompson on Monday and Tuesday were not returned by presstime.

Pottawatomie School superintendents at Shawnee and Bethel issued statements that, despite the red alert, OSDH did not recommend changes to in-person learning plans.

In her statement, Shawnee Superintendent Dr. April Grace said, "county health officials have made us aware of an isolated institutional spread that has significantly increased the county COVID-19 cases (more than 100) for the week."

Grace also noted that Shawnee Schools have continued to experience a few "positive cases in the district most weeks."

Among the 21 state deaths reported Tuesday, was a Pottawatomie County male, age 65 or older. Wednesday a female, also age 65 or older, was listed among 17 deaths reported by OSDH, bringing the cumulative total of COVID-19 deaths in Oklahoma to 1,392.

As of Tuesday, the cumulative number of virus cases for the county was 2,375, with 338 known cases still considered active by OSDH.


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