While conducting his first in-person news briefing since recovering from COVID-19, Gov. Kevin Stitt was asked Thursday by a reporter why he wasn't wearing a mask.
Stitt, who said he has fully recovered from the virus after announcing July 15 that he had tested positive, chuckled and said, "Because I've already had COVID."
The governor was reportedly the only person not wearing a mask at the briefing, which was held to announce that Oklahoma schools would receive $10 million in CARES Act funding for personal protective equipment.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that individuals considered clinically recovered from COVID-19 should wear cloth face covering in public.
"The primary purpose of cloth face coverings is to limit transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infected persons who may be infectious but do not have clinical symptoms of illness or may have early or mild symptoms that they do not recognize," the CDC states on its website. "Cloth face coverings may provide reassurance to others in public settings and be a reminder of the need to maintain social distancing."
The CDC also indicated that researchers currently don’t have enough information yet to determine whether someone will definitely be immune and protected from reinfection if they have antibodies to the virus.
Since the pandemic began, Stitt has routinely been observed not wearing a mask either at news conferences or during public appearances.
Only once, during a June 30 news conference in Oklahoma City, did he make it a point to wear a face covering. It was to urge residents to wear masks on a day in which the 7-day rolling average for the state had climbed to a then-high of 390.
On Thursday, Oklahoma's 7-day rolling average reached 991, the second highest total since March.