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First case of coronavirus in Oklahoma confirmed

by Adam Kemp | The Oklahoman
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

The first person in Oklahoma has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced on Friday afternoon that a person under investigation for the disease had tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus.

The name of the person who tested positive was not released, only that it is a male in his 50s that had recently returned from Italy. The man had been under investigation since Monday and his test had to be sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to best examined.

Bruce Dart with the Tulsa Health Department said the individual is from Tulsa and has been quarantined, along with his family, in his home.

Oklahoma health commissioner Gary Cox said the state is now able to conduct its own testing for COVID-19. He said the state lab has the capacity to test 300 samples in a day and the turnaround time should be around 6-8 hours.

COVID-19 has killed more than 3,500 people worldwide and infected more than 100,000. The majority of those deaths and infections have come from China, where the outbreak began.

In the United States, the disease has spread rapidly as more than 234 people have been reportedly infected and 14 people have died as of Friday morning. Thirteen of those deaths come from Washington state.

Several people in Oklahoma have been investigated for coronavirus, this is the first positive test while five other people were cleared and four remain under investigation.