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House member reveals COVID, cancer diagnoses

House member reveals COVID, cancer diagnoses

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House Swearing In

Spectators forgo social distancing as they crowd onto a balcony to watch newly elected and reelected Oklahoma state representatives be sworn in at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City on Nov. 11.

A third member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Facebook post by his wife.

Rep. Preston Stinson, R-Edmond, was sworn in for his first term two weeks ago during a Capitol ceremony at which a large number of people did not wear masks — although Stinson apparently did.

Oklahoma County District Judge Sheila Barnes Stinson said in her Tuesday Facebook post that in the past two weeks her husband “attended some events where masks weren’t in widespread use. Both he and our 7-year-old have suffered with COVID for the past week.”

Judge Stinson said the situation is particularly troubling because her husband was diagnosed with cancer last month and is scheduled to undergo surgery in December.

“Please wear your mask, social distance, and say no to large gatherings,” she wrote.

Two other House Republicans, Kevin Wallace of Wellston and Tammy Townley of Ardmore, are known to have tested positive for COVID-19 just before the swearing-in ceremony. Neither learned of their test results until afterward. On Nov. 24, the state House and Senate announced that they would comply with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s mask order for all Capitol personnel. At the same time, the House said it would rotate staff so that all are not in their offices at the same time.

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Saint Francis CEO Jake Henry Jr. said Oklahoma has always had a shortage of doctors and nurses, especially in rural areas, even before the pandemic.

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