Editor’s note: Governor Kevin Stitt’s Zoom meeting occurred after The Madill Record went to press on Wednesday, July 15.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt made a major announcement in a press release on Wednesday, July 15. In a Zoom meeting from the comfort of his home, Stitt told state officials and reporters that he received a positive COVID-19 test result.
“Personally, I get tested periodically,” Stitt said. He said he tested on July 14 and the results came back positive.
Stitt said he has not felt any of the symptoms yet, save a few.
“I feel fine,” Stitt noted. “Just a little achy.”
Possibly because he is now facing the likelihood of having to fight the virus, Stitt told everybody tuning into the Zoom meeting that the virus is not a joke.
“We need to take this virus serious,” he said. “COVID is still in the states, still in Oklahoma.”
He said he held the Zoom meeting because he wants to be “transparent with Oklahomans.”
The governor, who happens to be the first governor to catch the virus, said that he and his family are taking precautions. He is working from home, and even isolated from his family – who tested negative.
Stitt noted that he worked with contract tracers to back track and warn anybody that he might have accidentally infected. He warns that the virus’ symptoms are constantly changing.
“I didn’t have the normal symptoms,” he said. “I feel fine, you might say I’m asymptomatic.”
After Stitt broke the news, he opened the floor to a few questions. Barbara, one of the reporters on the call asked approximately what time did Stitt receive the results of the test. Stitt replied he received them at “around 12:30” on Tuesday.
Another reporter who did not give a name questioned if Stitt thought he might have contracted it at the Trump Rally. “Even though it was a month ago, you didn’t wear a mask,” the reporter noted.
Stitt replied that it could not have been from the rally, because it was too long ago.
Oklahoma Commissioner of Health Colonel Lance Frye chimed in on the reporter’s question.
“No, that was too long ago,” Frye said. “Contract tracing showed the virus 48 hours prior to symptoms.”
Dillon Richards, another reporter in attendance, asked how the results of the test were going to affect any people who attended prior events with Stitt.
“Are the attendants going to have to quarantine, now, and why didn’t you wear a mask,” Richards asked.
Frye answered for Stitt. He stated that they were following protocol; contacting anybody who was closer than six feet to Stitt at any recent events.
Trey Savage wished the governor a speedy recovery and asked if his plans to attend the Grand Lake festivities were cancelled.
Stitt reiterated that his any of his immediate future plans were cancelled and conducting all his business via Zoom till Frye releases him.
When it became Erica Rankins’ turn to question Stitt, she switched gears and focused on Oklahoma.
“What would you tell Oklahomans who are seeing the numbers rise every day,” Rankins asked.
Still responded by explaining that the spike was inevitable.
“We’ve signed about 35 executive orders to try and curb the virus,” Stitt said. “As soon as you go back to phase one or two, you’re going to see a spike.”
Stitt also noted he was proud of Oklahomans because the state is below the national average for infections.
Stitt said that this is the new normal, and again warned about the ever-changing symptoms. He asks residents to social distance, get tested if any symptoms appear, and not to visit anybody in the susceptible area.
Angelica Brown asked a question that was burning in many people’s minds.
“Considering your diagnosis, are you thinking about a mask mandate, now,” she asked.
“No, we are not looking at a mask mandate,” Stitt replied. “We want to give the businesses the freedoms. If they want to enforce masks, that’s great.”
“We also respect people’s rights to stay home, or run businesses, or wear masks,” Stitt continued.
Stitt also noted that if they began a mask mandate, there would be no way to enforce it.
He called wearing masks a personal responsibility.