StateImpact Oklahoma is tracking the hundreds of COVID-19 cases in schools

  • Robby Korth

Nobody knows how many cases of the coronavirus are present in Oklahoma schools.

But, we do know there are hundreds of cases in every part of the state.

StateImpact has been tracking confirmed cases of COVID-19 in schools. So far, more than hundreds of cases have been discovered in more than 300 public school districts, charter and private schools. There are likely more.

The cases have been added to a database and zoomable map to illustrate the virus’ spread. 

They’ve been collected from public announcements, news reports and tips that were subsequently confirmed with school officials.

What’s resulted is a more complete picture of COVID-19 cases in schools across Oklahoma. It isn’t perfect, but it illustrates how the virus has spread in Oklahoma classrooms that only have safety recommendations rather than requirements.

This database is critical to having a better understanding of the reopening of Oklahoma schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Based on early and still developing research, children appear to be particularly  contagious when it comes to the coronavirus. On top of that, school buildings have a lot of people coming into contact with each other and often contribute to community spread. That’s why schools were suddenly shut down for the semester in the spring.

It’s unclear how long COVID-19 will be present in Oklahoma. School administrators are betting on certainly the rest of this semester, into next spring and possibly beyond.

And they’ll certainly be on their own in many ways without direction from the state.

The state’s health department isn’t monitoring cases in schools or reporting that  publicly.

StateImpact plans to continue monitoring and compiling cases. An Oklahoma State Department of Education spokeswoman said that agency is currently working on a mechanism for school districts to report cases. It’s unclear, though, if the data collected will be publicly available and what form it might take. 

In the meantime, please send us any cases of the coronavirus you know of or think we should check out by filling out this form

This COVID-19/education reporting is made possible through a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.