COVID-19 Update: Oklahoma Nursing Home Transparency?

Is the Oklahoma Health Department being transparent when it comes to the amount of COVID-19 patients in Oklahoma Nursing Facilities? This article explores that question with a group of articles and announcements. A release from the Oklahoma Health Department on April 2nd by spokeswoman Shelley Zumwalt over a week ago announced on OKC Fox News that there were a total of ten nursing homes with positive cases including Brookhaven Extensive Care Nurse  (1 resident), Emerald Square (1 resident), Franciscan Villa (3 residents), Grace Living Center (33 residents and 3 staff), Medical Park West Rehabilitation (1 staff), PARCway Post Acute Recovery (2 residents), Skiatook Nursing Home (2 residents, 1 staff), The Villages at Southern Hills (1 resident), and Post Acute Medical Specialty (1 resident).1

COVID Nursing Home Transparency

Upon the time that 10 nursing homes were announced a previous article in the Tulsa World on the 24th of March that an employee at Oklahoma Methodist Manor in Tulsa had tested positive for CoVID.2 Two weeks later a third employee tested positive.3  Villages of Southern Hills’s apparent transparency appears on their website. Collected on the 11th of April they listed the number of tests conducted, number of negative tests, and the number of active cases including 4 employees and 5 residents, with one of those residents being in the hospital.4

Two Oklahoma nursing homes Grace Skilled Nursing and Therapy and Mangum Skilled Nursing and Therapy have been hit the hardest. In an article by about Grace Skilled Nursing, “The Oklahoma State Department of Health said seven residents of Grace Skilled Nursing and Therapy in west Norman have died, and 52 residents and staff members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Previously, the agency had said eight residents died and 67 people were positive.”5 In Mangum, Oklahoma a population of 2,762 in 2018 according to the United States Census Bureau, the small town’s nursing facility has 30 positive COVID-19 patients with 3 who have died, out of a total of 45 patients.6

On Monday the 6th of April, the Health Department reported that thirteen resident deaths at Oklahoma nursing homes and 20 facilities with elderly that have COVID-19, according to the Oklahoman.7 Of those 20 facilities only 12 have been identified by local newspapers, being released by the health department or the facility themselves. That means at least 8 or more are not identified and the Oklahoma Health Department is remaining tight-lipped about further cases. While the HIPPA law protects names from being used when patients become ill with COVID-19, the number of cases within a facility does not fall under those protections, so why the secrecy?

Oklahoma has had 1,868 recorded COVID-19 cases and 94 deaths in the state at the time this article was written on April 11th, 2020, according to Since the Oklahoma Health Department’s release of nursing homes with COVID-19 on April 2, 2020, there has been no further information on which nursing homes have been impacted and no way for loved ones to obtain that information through the state. Not only are family members not allowed to see their loved ones at nursing homes, but they are also being kept in the dark by the state as to what is going inside of them regarding the virus.

Updated List of Nursing Homes and Rehabilitation Facilities Testing Positive for COVID-19 – April 11th, 2020

  • Grace Skilled Nursing and Therapy – 7 resident deaths, 52 resident cases, 6 employee cases
  • Magnum Skilled Nursing and Therapy – 3 resident deaths, 30 resident cases (no employees listed)
  • The Villages of Southern Hills – 1 resident death, 5 residents case, 4 employee cases
  • Brookhaven Extensive Care Norman – 1 resident death
  • The Parke Assisted Living Center – 1 resident death
  • Skiatook Nursing Home – 21 resident cases, 2 resident deaths, 1 staff case
  • Oklahoma Methodist Manor – 3 employee cases
  • Emerald Square – 1 resident case
  • Franciscan Vill – 3 resident cases
  • Medical Park West Rehab – 1 employee case
  • PARCway Post Acute Recovery – 2 resident cases
  • Post-Acute Medical Specialty – 1 resident case
  • Ardmore Nursing Home – 1 employee case (released on the 10th of April)9

Know a nursing home that is not on this list? Email me or leave a comment below to help us keep the list current.

  3. From an e-mail on April 7th, 2020


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Influenced lyrically by songwriters like Ani Difranco and Dar Williams, Sarah Popejoy’s folk introspection mixed with activism are the key ingredients that fuel her writing. At the same time, Sarah’s sound gravitates to the dirty, country blues akin to Lucinda Williams. Born into a musical family her father Brad Popejoy played bass guitar for a band called Front Page News released on Dial Records, while her Grandmother, Gwen Popejoy Bonnell, was part of a successful singing trio that toured Oklahoma in her younger years. With two studio albums recorded in Nashville under her belt, Sarah is no stranger to recording and producing. Her extensive touring credits include performances at Cambridge’s Club Passim’s Cutting Edge of the Campfire, Blue Bird’s Sunday Showcases, and opening for Debbie Campbell at her Summer’s Fifth night in front of a crowd of over 10,000 people. She has made appearances on BBC News, American Songwriter Magazine as a lyric contest honorable mention winner, her song "Father's Love for His Son" was talked about in Dar Williams latest book Writing a Song that Matters. Moving back home to Tulsa, what Rolling Stone calls the next Austin, Sarah is producing her 3rd studio album called “The Oklahoma Storyteller”, set to release at the beginning of 2024.

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