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KGWA Local News Friday

 

RB)--I begin today with an item close to home…The Williams Media Group and Hammer Williams Company team is mourning the loss of a friend and colleague. 53 year-old Randy Byrum of Ponca City was killed in a crash on US 81 north of Pond Creek Thursday morning. No one else was injured in the crash. As word of Randy’s death came in there was shock, grief and tears from his co-workers. He was a member of the maintenance team and is being remembered as a dedicated and skilled technician who was a good guy, a nice guy. Randy was not only liked, but respected and appreciated by his co-workers from ownership to management, supervisors, on down. He was a pleasure to know and a man who was joyous, with a “get it done attitude.” To his wife, kids, family and friends our deep and heartfelt condolences. Randy Byrum, good guy, nice guy and respected team member. Gone too soon. He will be missed.

 

                                          --00--  03  April  20  7a

LT)—Organizers said just under 100 people were tested for COVID-19 during today’s Garfield County Health Department drive-through testing clinic at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center on the Garfield County Fairgrounds. In order to be tested you had to be 18 years old or older, and have fever greater than 100.4 degrees, as well as a cough or shortness of breath and not have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus in the past 14 days. Only one person per household and vehicle was eligible to be tested. Mike Honigsberg, Director of Enid and Garfield County Emergency Management, said a handful of vehicles were turned away because they did not qualify for testing. The testing clinic was offered in partnership with the city of Enid, Enid and Garfield County Emergency Management, Garfield County Sheriff's Office, Life EMS and other community partners. Honigsberg also thanked EPD, OHP, and the Grant, Alfalfa and Kingfisher Sheriff’s offices for providing units for traffic control and security.

                                          --00--  03  April  20  4p

CV)--988 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Oklahoma and the total number of deaths has gone up to 38, the state health department said earlier today. The number of cases in Garfield County was up 1 to a total of five. Four deaths were reported statewide since Thursday. Three were in Tulsa County; all women aged 65 or older. One death was a woman aged 65 or older from Cleveland County. As of today, 289 Oklahomans have been hospitalized due to the virus. 

COVID-19 Oklahoma Test Results

04/03/20

Positive (In-State)

988

Positive (Out-of-State)

2

Negative*

1315

Hospitalized

289

Deaths

38

 

*Negative testing results are only from the State Public Health Laboratory and do not include private laboratory negative results.

 

                                          --00--  03  April  20  12n

SS)--Gov. Kevin Stitt took an historic step Thursday, invoking a post-9/11 law that has never been used before. Invoking the law, should the legislature approve, allows Stitt to unlock emergency powers. They include waiving some regulations and transparency requirements and spending money more readily to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. The law also allows Stitt to call up the National Guard, although Stitt, at a news conference Thursday announcing the measure, was quick to say he had no plans to do so. The legislature must return to the Capitol on Monday in special session to consider Stitt’s use of the Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act. Stitt said he plans to coordinate the activities all the state’s health departments so all are on the same page, as well as ensuring first responders’ safety by allowing them to find out beforehand whether a patient has the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Stitt said the state has greatly increased its supply of testing kits and urged anyone with symptoms to be tested.

 

                                          --00--  03  April  20  7a

SP)--Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed an executive order ensuring support staff of Oklahoma public schools can be paid for the remainder of their current contract despite school buildings being closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The directive resolves what had been several weeks of uncertainty, as some districts were concerned they could not do so constitutionally.

 

                                          --00--  03  April  20  7a

FM)--Forgotten Ministries, in the 1700 block of S. 4th, is offering evening meals for anyone in need. The ministry has set up three ways for people to receive food at the facility. Meals for the homeless population are provided under a tent in the parking lot, on chairs spaced to maintain recommended social distancing. Forgotten Ministries staff will pick up anyone in need from Our Daily Bread at 4:30 p.m. each day and return them there after the meal. People who use this service will have the opportunity to shower, receive a change of clothes and leave their clothes to be laundered and picked up the next day. For all others in need, the Forgotten Ministries food truck will be serving meals beginning at 5:30 p.m. The food truck will be parked in the south part of the Moore and 4th intersection for drive-through service, with meals in to-go containers. New View Apartments residents can walk to the food truck and form a line to be served to-go containers. Forgotten Ministries is looking for churches and organizations willing to help serve or cover the cost of meals during the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone interested in helping can message the Forgotten Ministries Facebook page or email peggy@forgottenministries.com. To help financially, mail a check made payable to Forgotten Ministries to 1714 S. 4th St., Enid, OK 73701.

                                          --00--  03  April  20  9a

CN)--The city of Enid has partnered with Suddenlink Cable to broadcast the coronavirus updates that stream live on the city’s Facebook and YouTube channels at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The updates will be shown on Suddenlink channels 12 and 112. City Manager Jerald Gilbert said, “We are thankful for the partnership with Suddenlink to be able to playback videos that were streamed live on our social media platforms to keep the public updated with the steps the city and community are taking during this pandemic."

 

                                          --00--  03  April  20  9a

DL)--With distance learning classes beginning Monday, April 6 Enid Public Schools has established a Distance Learning Hub for parents/guardians and students. The site's homepage, https://www.enidpublicschools.org/266650_2, features a letter from Superintendent Darrell Floyd and links to overviews, lesson plans, contact information and frequently asked questions. The site also includes a countdown clock for when distance learning will begin. The superintendent said finishing the school year will take cooperation between EPS, parents/guardians and staff. "We understand that, like the traditional classroom, this learning plan cannot be a one-size-fits-all-approach," Floyd wrote. "While this is not how we expected to end the school year, we believe this plan will allow us to keep students on track while also protecting what is most important — their health and well-being.” The Site includes learning plans for elementary schools, each junior high school and Enid High School.

 

                                          --00--  03  April  20  7a

LC)--Enid Police Chief Brian O'Rourke has closed the lobby of the department to limit person-to-person contact during the ongoing COVD-19 pandemic. The front door foyer remains open to the public. Inside the foyer is a phone with numbers to call to request a report or traffic accident, speak to an officer or to report a crime. John said traffic accident reports will be emailed to those who request them. He said conditional warnings and impound releases also will remain available. To contact the Enid Police Department by phone call (580) 242-7000. If there is an emergency, call 911. Tips also can be submitted to Garfield County Crime Stoppers at (580) 233-6233, text to 274637, typing “Enid” and a message in the text box or https://www.enid.org/services/police.

 

                                          --00--  02  April  20  2p

CF)--The statewide candidate filing period begins at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, said Michael Frisbie, Secretary of the Garfield County Election Board. Filing will be from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The deadline for filing as a candidate is 5:00 p.m. Friday, no exceptions. Candidates for state offices file with the Secretary of the State Election Board in Oklahoma City. Candidates for county offices file with the Secretary of the County Election Board. Frisbie said that the following county offices will be filled this year: County Commissioner District 2, County Court Clerk, County Clerk, and County Sheriff. ALL SOCIAL DISTANCING PRECAUTIONS WILL BE OBSERVED. For more election-related information, call the County Election Board at 580 237-6016, or visit www.elections.ok.gov.

 

                                          --00--  02  April  20  2p

MH)--Youth & Family Services of North Central Oklahoma is offering a free mental health helpline to help people through the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the social isolation that comes with it. "During the COVID-19 crisis, many people may find themselves on edge," said Tree Perkins, Youth and Family's director of development. "Routines have changed, children are home from school, families are cooped up, and many have or will experience job loss. With all of these worries looming, we know that this can be scary and overwhelming time." With help from a grant from United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma, Youth & Family Services is offering the free helpline for "those who may be experiencing anxiety, sadness, fear, or perhaps just a need to hear a friendly voice," Perkins said. Anyone in need can call the helpline at (866) 324-2085. The helpline will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. If the helpline goes to voicemail, callers should leave a message with their name and phone number, and Youth & Family will call them back as soon as possible.

 

                                          --00--  02  April  20  2p

OS)--Gov. Kevin Stitt has issued an amended executive order to close nonessential businesses in all 77 counties in Oklahoma through April 30 to limit the exposure of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The executive order prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people, closes all bars, gyms, exercise facilities, hair salons and other nonessential businesses. It also puts restrictions on restaurants, saying they can only operate takeout, delivery and curbside services. Stitt’s emergency declaration also issues a “safer-at-home” order for vulnerable populations, which includes people 65 years old or older and those with underlying health issues. People will still be allowed to go to grocery stores and other places for essential needs and to go to work that are deemed essential. Stitt also urged people to be tested for COVID-19 this week. He said six drive-thru facilities are operational as of Wednesday afternoon and 13 mobile testing sites throughout Oklahoma will be available by the end of the week. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, drive-thru testing sites without needing an appointment are open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the following cities:

Woodward from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Woodward County Event Center.

Altus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Western Oklahoma State College.

Lawton from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Urgent Care Clinic, 3811 W. Gore.

 

Criteria for testing at drive-thru testing sites:

Must be 18 or older

Only one specimen per household

Have not had close contact (within six feet) of someone who has tested positive in past 14 days

Currently experiencing fever (>100.4 degrees F) AND cough or shortness of breath.

Testing is also available at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a physician referral and by appointment only.

 

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