White House task force: COVID in Oklahoma is ‘unyielding’

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt puts his face mask back on after speaking during a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Oklahoma City. Stitt and hospital officials in Oklahoma City joined in a news conference to, as Stitt said, plead with residents to voluntarily socially distance, wash hands and wear masks, but he again said he would not issue a statewide mask mandate. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The White House Coronavirus Task Force is again recommending a mask mandate in Oklahoma and says the virus spread in the state is “unyielding.”

The report released Wednesday by the state Department of Health says a recent surge in cases and hospitalizations calls for immediate action.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has opposed a statewide mandate and on Tuesday joined with physicians to call on residents to voluntarily wear masks.

There was a record 1,248 people hospitalized in Oklahoma on Wednesday. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows the 7-day rolling average of new cases per day has risen from 1,185 to 2,080.

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