Despite active COVID-19 cases declining down to zero at one point in May, Stillwater’s infection numbers are rising again.
According to data from the Oklahoma COVID-19 dashboard, Stillwater currently has 15 active cases with 38 total, 23 recoveries and zero total deaths so far.
While some may point to an increase in testing as the answer to these new infections, city officials say otherwise.
“There is certainly more testing now than back in March, but not a significant increase recently,” Stillwater mayor Will Joyce said in a tweet. “More people in town and more interactions means more cases.”
Joyce points to the number of people returning to Stillwater for the summertime as a potential cause for the increase in cases.
“Everything is open, more residents are back in town, and we have all been eager to resume regular social activities,” Joyce said. “But the virus is still here, looking for opportunities to spread. We have to remain vigilant to keep ourselves and our community healthy.”
Joyce has remained vigilant about the virus ever since Stillwater got its first positive case on March 29. He’s extended shelter-in-place orders, encouraged citizens to wear masks in public and had an emergency proclamation up until May 31.
Joyce intends to remain cautious with his mindset amidst the virus too. Despite the city’s relatively small population and case prevalence, Joyce warned citizens of COVID-19’s risks.
“Coronavirus is still present and spreading in our city,” Joyce said. “It is highly contagious and potentially deadly. Do not make the mistake of thinking the pandemic is over. None of us wants to go back to shutdowns and closures, so please do your part to prevent the spread of COVID.”
For a city that is home to a large state university, Joyce sent a warning to college students too: the city’s virus prevalence in the summer will have an impact on the school year as well.
“Any kind of outbreak in Stillwater this summer will make it impossible to resume normal fall activities,” Joyce said.