State Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa, released the following statement after Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor announced plans to sue school districts implementing mask policies and while Governor Kevin Stitt remains silent on the state of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.
“The Governor has barely spoken about COVID - even today, at the Tulsa Chamber State of the State address. Even today, when an 8th-grade student passed away from COVID overnight in Oklahoma City. Even today, when we recorded 4,152 new cases, well over 1,500 more than our current daily count.
“Yet, as Tulsa Public Schools became one of a growing list of schools strengthening mask policies to protect students this afternoon, one hour later the Governor’s hand-picked attorney general announces a lawsuit.”
Democrats have repeatedly called on Stitt to return control to local districts instead of the big state government regarding decisions affecting their students.
Meanwhile, 14 new virus-related deaths and 4,152 new coronavirus cases were reported in the state since Wednesday, according to daily numbers released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa, also criticized the governor:
“Governor Stitt hasn’t held a press conference on COVID since March, but today, he found time to address the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce. Instead, the governor chose to show unnecessary hostility toward our state’s oldest allies, the sovereign tribal nations.”
A total of 539,074 COVID-19 cases have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic and the provisional death count went up to 9,044, the state health department said on Thursday.
The seven-day rolling average for new cases reported was 2,507 cases, the state health department said.
Currently, 21,584 Oklahomans are considered active cases in the state, OSDH said.