OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma schools are eligible to apply for federal funds available to respond to the coronavirus, Gov. Kevin Stitt and state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said Friday.
They said that $16 million is available, with grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000, based on enrollment as of Oct. 1, 2019. Schools can use the funds for such expenses as expanding access to distance learning and providing mental health support for students experiencing trauma due to the COVID-19 virus.
Oklahoma received about $1.5 billion in federal funding to support COVID-19-related government expenses.
The state Board of Education in March voted to close public schools statewide for the remainder of the school year and to turn to distance learning in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Plans for reopening schools this fall were released this month.
Oklahoma has more than 200 new cases of the virus and two more deaths due to it, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported Friday.
The department said the state has seen a total of at least 7,848 cases of the virus and 359 deaths, up from 7,626 cases of the virus and 357 deaths reported Thursday.
The actual number of infections is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.