We’re here to bring you the best coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus impacting Owasso and Collinsville. Here is our full coverage — from insightful stories to engaging galleries — of the global pandemic’s local reach.

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Stephen Cazenave and Jessica Creller enjoy sitting outside and talking during warm winter days when they come. The dating couple has been struggling to make ends meet while living in a small Owasso apartment amid the pandemic.

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The Owasso High School, Ram Academy, Owasso 8th Grade Center and Owasso 7th Grade Center will pivot to distance learning on Friday, Jan. 14, due to staff shortages.

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The Oklahoma State Department of Education's latest student count shows 9,656 class seats filled at Owasso Public Schools compared to last year’s total of 9,035.

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OPS Superintendent Margaret Coates in a letter to parents Monday said the transition to virtual instruction will begin Tuesday, Jan. 11, and run through the remainder of the week.

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"If you choose not to abide by the mandates, there are consequences," says Collinsville resident Johnnie Combs.

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Hospital CEO Scott Lasson highlighted a large decline in new COVID-19 cases in mid-November, about two months after the Owasso hospital saw a spike in coronavirus-related admissions.

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The agreement comes as a federal court, in a case joined by the state of Oklahoma and 11 other states, on Tuesday issued a nationwide ban on enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

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A widespread decline in computer chips, for example, has prevented community law enforcement agencies across the country from adding new and upgraded patrol units to their fleets, and OPD is no exception.

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“At times, we say we are providing an education,” said OPS Superintendent Amy Fichtner. “I would contend we as a school district are providing much more; we are investing in the future citizens of our nation.”

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Eighty-eight people from Owasso, Collinsville and Oologah received the tests at Northern Tulsa County Coalition’s first event of its kind at the Collinsville Library on Wednesday.

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The Northern Tulsa County Coalition is hosting free COVID-19 antibody testing on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 12-6 p.m., at the Collinsville Library Mee…

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Ascension’s expansion includes the addition of 24 acuity-adaptable beds in Owasso, designed to allow a patient to stay in the same room, regardless of the level of care.

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"I feel this photograph captures the heart of the Owasso community right now — somber, prayerful and hurting."

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See pictures of people who lined the streets to watch the procession for Owasso police officer Howard Smith in Owasso on Monday.

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Howard Smith is the second active Owasso police officer, and third overall, to die from the coronavirus this year.

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“In the throes of a global pandemic and political divisiveness, and everything else in between, we have stayed the course, remained unfazed and pressed forward.”

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See all our pictures of the community remembering Owasso police officer Edgar “Buddy” Pales over the last week since his passing on Aug. 29 fr…

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“This past year was just tough. I think people got to the point where they had enough,” said longtime Collinsville Superintendent Lance West, who at just 54 years retired from the public school system.

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Edgar “Buddy” Pales, 54, died Aug. 29 after being hospitalized for over a week with COVID-19.

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Owasso ranks the highest in staff shortages among Sodexo's meal programs for the region, currently standing at around 65 employees compared to its normal count at over 90.

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Despite an Oklahoma County District Court ruling, several Tulsa area school districts indicated Wednesday that they will not be changing their mask policies overnight.

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Wisconsin native Nate Carroll caught word of Officer Pales’ death, and wanted to remind Owasso residents that one of their own wasn’t forgotten — even at over 800 miles away.

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"The military always had to have various shots to protect them in remote areas where there might be infections not seen in the U.S.," said Collinsville resident Kathy Larsen. 

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Owasso Public Schools does not currently plan to mandate masks or face coverings on school grounds once classes resume on Thursday, Aug. 12.

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"We must do more to overcome this pandemic," reads the new call to action from Ascension healthcare to its 160,000 associates across the U.S. #COVID19

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Starting July 27, the Collinsville Health Center will be accepting appointments once a week on Tuesdays for at least the remainder of the back-to-school season.

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“Owasso is not only a good place to live; it’s a good place to shop, it’s a good place to eat, it’s a good place to work, and the combination of all of those gives Owasso just good core fundamentals,” said economist Mark Snead with RegionTrack Inc.

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The new masks, which total over $520 each, are Avon C50 First Responder Kit MED protective coverings that officers can use when confronted with high-risk situations in the field.

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The mask mandate will be lifted for students and staff entering summer school, starting on June 7, leaving the choice to wear one in the classroom at their own discretion.

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Senators J.J. Dossett, D-Owasso, and his sister Jo Anna Dossett, D-Tulsa, along with two others, donated blood, which will provide lifesaving products for up to 12 local patients.

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Rejoice Christian School in Owasso received over $1.1 million as part of the state's Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools, totaling more than $30.9 million for 56 Oklahoma schools.

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Owasso Jewels is looking forward to spreading a little extra kindness in upcoming weeks.

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The state of Owasso’s economy has remained steady over the last 12 months despite ongoing challenges due to the coronavirus.

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Ascension received the crucifix from Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski of the St. Louis Archdiocese as a symbol of hope for both medical staff and their patients in their fight against the coronavirus.

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Owasso Public Schools expects to receive about 4,000 masks out of the more than 600,000 distributed to school districts statewide.

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Owasso Public Schools received over $3.1 million, and Collinsville Public Schools received more than $530,000.

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Hospital staff at Ascension St. John Owasso received donated medals provided by Medals4Mettle on Wednesday honoring their commitment and sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tulsa Balloons delivered several dozen inflatable “buddies” to the Owasso retirement home Friday afternoon as part of the company’s 2021 Adopt a Grandparent campaign.

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Teressa Blair and Antonio Graham received their shots at a clinic held at the River Spirit Expo Tuesday as part of the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Phase 2 immunization rollout.

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Thirty-four of 42 ZIP codes are in orange, which still represents high levels of spread.

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The Friends of Owasso Police is setting its sights on hosting more fundraising events for Owasso PD following a somewhat inactive 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Owasso Strong Neighborhood Initiative carried out a successful campaign in 2020.

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Owasso decreased from “extreme severe risk” to “severe” in the Tulsa Health Department's latest update. Collinsville still remains in the “extreme severe risk” category.

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Complementing care services provided by Ascension St. John Owasso, the future hospital will offer physical, occupational and speech therapies, and 24-hour nursing care, to restore functional ability and quality of life.

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Collinsville Public Schools announced that all high schoolers will pivot to distance learning for three full days starting on Friday, Jan. 29.

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The new clinic, located behind El Tequila off of 86th Street, provides a variety of direct primary care services to meet patients’ basic health needs.

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The Tulsa Health Department hosted the clinic at Owasso High School Friday, where it inoculated health care workers, first responders and residents over the age of 65 against the coronavirus.

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Senior Chief Petty Officer Audie Martin is serving at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine as part of the largest mobilization of reservists in Naval Sea Systems Command history.

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Staff at the vocational school recently hired on several clients from A New Leaf to clean and sanitize different areas of the campus to ramp up safety measures amid coronavirus concerns.

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From March through May last year, the Tulsa World shared life for the two teenage sisters in Owasso in a daily photo essay done by their mother, former staff photographer Brandi Simons.

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Over 100 employees at Bailey Medical Center, for example, have received a vaccine in the last two weeks.

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The new statue, located outside the OHS west campus, depicts a young Timmy and Cindy sitting on a globe, etched with the words “Class of 2020,” wearing graduation hats with diplomas in hand.

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Dub Raper was remembered Sunday as a good friend and a high school basketball coach who always wanted to bring out the best in his players.

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In a news release update, THD noted that nearly a quarter (23.6%) of all Tulsa County cases since the pandemic began have been identified in December alone. 

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The seemingly endless hardships that this year brought have given us all an opportunity to grow our character, strengthen our resolve and press forward with new hopes and ambitions…

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Rafael Maturino, 40, was charged Wednesday in Tulsa federal court with bank fraud related to a loan he applied for on behalf of a business that he claimed to own and operate, according to the charge.

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"I was sent home despite having a doctor's recommendation to be admitted because no rooms being available," said Owasso resident Joshua Gagner. 

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Owasso Public Schools is seeing a slight uptick in virtual enrollment numbers for the second semester following the announcement of a new distance learning option for high schoolers.

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The testing is being administered by Arc Diagnostics at the northwest corner of 116th Street and Garnett Road in the Discovery Church parking lot.

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Owasso Public Schools recently announced that it made revisions to its quarantine practices, which will take effect going into the second semester.

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The decision to go virtual stemmed from an increase in staff isolations and quarantines resulting from positive COVID-19 cases, Superintendent Lance West said.

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The Tulsa County Board of County Commissioners on Monday, Dec. 21, approved $1.2 million to reimburse seven Tulsa County municipalities for fi…

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On Thursday, members of Owasso Jewels delivered a large basket full of hundreds of handwritten holiday cards to staff at the Owasso hospital.

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Owasso police officers aren’t letting the coronavirus hinder their plans to bring Christmas cheer to local children this holiday season.

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Owasso Public Schools recently announced that all eighth-grade students have transitioned solely to distance learning through the end of the year.

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To date, the City of Owasso has received nearly $3 million in federal and state CARES ACT funds to go toward COVID-19 relief efforts on the local front.

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Members of Owasso Girl Scout Troop 1233 are helping their friends and families adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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The City of Owasso announced Tuesday that its Holly Trolley service has been canceled for the 2020 holiday shopping season due to COVID-19 concerns.

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Owasso city leaders decided last week that they will not issue a city-wide mask mandate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Sen. Dossett joins her brother, Sen. J.J. Dossett, D-Owasso, in the upper chamber at the state Capitol. 

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All ninth- through 12th-grade students are set to “Pivot to Home” starting on Wednesday, Nov. 18, through Dec. 18, Superintendent Amy Fichtner said in a letter to parents.

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City staff in a letter say they will not pursue a city-wide requirement for masks or face coverings at this time.

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A collaborative effort among city staff, local clergy, Folds of Honor, the Owasso VFW and other organizations will play host to an inaugural 2020 Owasso Veterans Appreciation Week in mid-November.

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The Owasso Community Theatre Company on Friday and Saturday presented its first-ever live drive-in theater experience — “Back to the 80s” — ho…

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Owasso Public Schools estimates it will enroll a little more than 1,500 students, or 16.5%, in virtual programming — down about 140 students, or 2% — as its second nine-week period kicks off on Oct. 21.

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Local residents and businesses alike are working to recover their losses amid the pandemic, and Sen. J.J. Dossett, D-Owasso, highlighted the need for continued statewide support.

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Crews recently got a chance to perfect their acting chops and film a new video to promote National Fire Prevention Month, held every October.

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“I joined the Navy as a musician to have the opportunity to perform,” said Musician 2nd Class Whitney Adams. “I also felt like I could be a part of something bigger than myself.”

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Here’s a look at 10 stories that showcase Owasso and Collinsville artists in their true elements, making the most of what could be a worse situation.

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Owasso High School held its first-ever virtual prep rally Wednesday to kick off the spirited activities of homecoming week, held Oct. 5-9.

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Around 80% of enrolled students began in-person instruction Thursday, district officials said, who showed up with protective masks and adhered to strict sanitation and social-distancing guidelines.

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See photos of students returning to in-person classes across Owasso Public Schools on Thursday, Sept. 17.

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The grant, provided by the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, will help the Owasso Police Department stock up on surgical masks, gloves, filtered protective masks and Tyvek suits.

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The choice to reopen schools came solely as a result of careful study of COVID-19 data along with guidance and collaboration with school leaders, health agencies and the school board, district officials say.

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The City of Owasso’s Recreation and Culture Department announced Thursday that it has canceled its two major upcoming 2020 events due to the C…

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Owasso Public Schools is helping students keep a balanced diet as they settle into their distance-learning routines from home.

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Several people recently formed a group called Owasso Rams Hand in Hand to show their support for school officials in response to the backlash surrounding the district’s decision to cancel in-person classes.

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Collinsville set to open its season Friday at home against Oologah.

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Collinsville Public Schools announced that a student recently tested positive for COVID-19.

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See how some parents are learning to use the difficult transition as an opportunity to learn and grow together.

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Several parents have signed a petition calling for the Owasso school board to reverse its decision to transition solely to distance learning and reopen classrooms.

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See photos of students across Owasso Public Schools attending classes through distance learning, which kicked off district-wide on Monday.

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An employee at Collinsville High School who showed symptoms of the coronavirus was quarantined a day after students returned to in-person classes for the 2020-21 school year.

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In keeping with social distancing, OCTC decided to try something new and move its talented roster of local actors off the stage and onto the streets to entertain audiences.

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See photos of students and staff return to classes at Rejoice Christian School on Thursday, Aug. 20.

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tudents and staff at Rejoice Christian School returned in-person to the Owasso campus for the start of school on Thursday, Aug. 20.

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See photos of students and staff who returned to classes across Collinsville on Thursday, Aug. 20.

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Owasso Public Schools received 21,934 masks, 21,400 gloves, 500 face shields and 10,810 gowns.

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Owasso Public Schools is starting the school year through distance learning, but currently has 1,475 students signed up for its virtual program, which is about 15% of its total enrollment.

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"I’m here protesting so I can get my senior year back," said Haley Raburn. "For the past three years ... I’ve been looking forward to all of the senior traditions, and they got taken away from me."

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Gov. Kevin Stitt visited Owasso Tuesday morning to tour aircraft manufacturer Mingo Aerospace and meet with local industry leaders who have received COVID-19 relief funding.

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More than 100 citizens gathered inside Owasso Public Schools’ new Dale C. Johnson Education Service Center Monday evening in response to the district’s decision to delay classes to Aug. 24 and transition solely to distance learning.

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Owasso will receive over $2.5 million, and Collinsville over $557,700, as part of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s initiative to allocate $250 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds to Oklahoma cities and counties.

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"Really, the question came down to did we have enough concrete knowledge to go against the guidance of the Tulsa County Health Department and the state Department of Education, and we did not." -OPS Superintendent Amy Fichtner said.

 

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Collinsville Public Schools is planning to start classes for the 2020-21 school year on Thursday, Aug. 20.

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Rejoice Christian School is proceeding with in-person classes as planned starting on Thursday, Aug. 20.

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Owasso athletics announced Wednesday morning fall sports are currently still scheduled to take place.

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The district has changed the first day of instruction for all students from Thursday, Aug. 13, to Monday, Aug. 24, and transitioned solely to a “Pivot from Home” program due to COVID-19 complications.

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The district gave away an estimated total of 192,760 meals — about 48,190 per month, or 1,555 per day — to residents over the duration of the program.

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In compliance with CDC recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and out of consideration for the health and safety of the community,…

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Owasso Police were happy to reclaim the traveling trophy but were even more pleased for the community involvement.

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The district will now require all fourth through 12th grade students to wear a mask or face covering while on buses and school grounds. Students in pre-K through third grade are encouraged but not mandated to follow suit.

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"We all just need to take a moment, refocus our priorities and ride out this pandemic, which is the real enemy, not those who do or don’t wear masks."

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The facility, located at 500 S. Main St., recently closed its lobby to the public due to the pandemic, but is still offering rescues and adoptions as well as stray pickups and surrenders.

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OPS Superintendent Amy Fichtner in a letter to parents published on the district’s website Tuesday addressed various questions about the return to classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Campbell's role as owner of Medicap Pharmacy has extended beyond the confines of her store counter into other related ventures that are benefiting more than just her regular patients.

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Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office announced the distribution of $4.2 million in federal COVID-19 relief to 18 cities and counties, including the City of Owasso, on Friday.

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The City of Collinsville held its 2020 virtual Fourth of July parade on Saturday amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The City of Owasso is encouraging residents to participate in a new campaign to help support area restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Beginning Wednesday, The Tulsa City-County Library, including the Owasso and Collinsville libraries, is going Fine Free, with all outstanding overdue fines forgiven.

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Hillcrest HealthCare System has laid off 60 employees, including two at Bailey Medical Center in Owasso, during a “strategic restructuring” be…

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Nearly 270 young artists across Oklahoma — including 10 from Owasso — spent a week studying with internationally renowned artists at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute while social distancing.

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GRDA recently launched the “Heroes work here” initiative to honor those who have continued to meet critical needs in their hometowns, including Collinsville.

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Hunter Morris, associate director of First Baptist Owasso's The Mission, said her organization has passed on thousands of boxes of food as part of USDA's Farmers to Families program since distribution began in late May. 

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The Gathering will celebrate its seventh year drawing large crowds to Owasso’s Main Street for an evening of fun, food and fellowship.

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Owasso Community Resources received a large semitruck load of food from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Thursday.