First State Governor Tests Positive for Virus

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is self-isolating
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2020 11:48 AM CDT
Oklahoma Governor Tests Positive for COVID-19
In this July 9, 2020 photo, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday that he is the first governor in the United States to test positive for the coronavirus and that he is isolating at home. Stitt, 48, said he mostly feels fine, although he started feeling "a little achy" on Tuesday and sought a test. He said his wife and children were also tested Tuesday and that none of them has tested positive. Stitt has backed one of the country’s most aggressive reopening plans, resisted any statewide mandate on masks, and rarely wears one himself, the AP reports. "We respect people’s rights ... to not wear a mask," Stitt said during Wednesday's news conference, which was held virtually. "You just open up a big can of worms."

Stitt attended President Trump’s rally in Tulsa last month, which health experts have said likely contributed to a surge in coronavirus cases there. Stitt said he’s confident he didn’t contract the virus at the rally. "As far as where he became infected, it’s really unknown," Oklahoma Health Commissioner Lance Frye said. "It wasn't so far back as the rally," which took place nearly a month ago. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Oklahoma, with nearly 22,000 confirmed cases and 428 deaths One of Stitt’s cabinet members, David Ostrowe, tested positive for the coronavirus in March.

(More coronavirus stories.)

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