COVID-19 cases surge in Oklahoma, other states ahead of Trump’s Tulsa rally
by Lisa Shumaker and David Swartz/Reuters Health News
PHOENIX (Reuters) – Several U.S. states including Oklahoma reported a surge in new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, days before a planned campaign rally for President Donald Trump in Tulsa that would be the nation’s largest indoor social gathering in three months.
An uptick in coronavirus cases in many states over the past two weeks, along with rising COVID-19 hospitalizations, reflected a troubling national trend that has seen daily U.S. infection numbers climbing after more than a month of declines.
Oklahoma reported a record 259 new cases over the previous 24 hours, while Florida reported more than 2,600 new cases and Arizona more than 1,800 – the second-highest daily increases for those two states.
In Arizona, where doctors, nurses and health administrators called for making face coverings mandatory statewide in public places, Governor Doug Ducey said he would let local officials decide whether to impose such rules and how to enforce them.
“If you do go out, wear a mask. It’s the smart thing to do,” he said.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego immediately tweeted that a vote on a proposed ordinance to require face masks outdoors in the nation’s fifth-largest city would go on the agenda for the city council’s next meeting.