Oklahoma governor hopes to start reopening economy on May 1

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt speaks at a news conference on COVID-19, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Oklahoma City. Stitt said that some businesses could begin to open back up as early as May 1, if the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Oklahoma continues to trend downward. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says if the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 continues to trend downward, some businesses could begin opening back up on May 1.

Stitt said at a press conference Friday that the state is continuing to ramp up its testing capacity and dedicating more resources to contact tracing, which involves interviewing those who have the coronavirus about their movements and contact with others.

State health officials reported five more deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, bringing death toll in Oklahoma to 136.

Stitt says more than one-third of those people who died were nursing home residents.

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