On Thursday, officials in Oklahoma have confirmed the state's first death linked to the coronavirus as cases of the virus near 10,000 in the United States.
According to the Tulsa Health Department, a man in his 50s was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Tuesday and died a day later.
"It is with great sadness that I confirm that a Tulsa County resident has passed away due to COVID-19," said Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. "This is a tragedy for our community. In these unprecedented times, everyone feels the weight of this loss. COVID-19 has impacted our community on a monumental level, but today I ask you to take a moment to pause and recognize that a family has lost their loved one. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."
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Oklahoma now joins the growing list of states that have reported deaths in connection with the virus. According to a database kept by Johns Hopkins, at least 23 states have reported at least one death in connection with COVID-19.
According to that same database, there are currently more than 9,400 confirmed cases of the virus. The United States confirmed its 1,000th case of the virus over the weekend.
The numbers in the U.S. have spiked in recent days due to the FDA's much-needed emergency approval of testing methods for COVID-19. Health officials believe the true number of those infected is still likely much higher.
Worldwide, more than 200,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease, and more than 9,000 people have died.
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