Around The County

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital


‘Rejection 2’ to be shown July 16

The film “Rejection 2,” in which Pawhuska’s own Tre Harper, a recent graduate of Pawhuska High School, has a supporting role, is scheduled to be shown at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 16, at the Constantine Theater on Main Street downtown. Admission will be free of charge. The film is rated “R,” so any minor children attending will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Reading activities continue, including contests

Summer Reading continues at Pawhuska Public Library. Activities are in place for July and August:

• Story Time continues July 16 - Aug. 13 on Thursday mornings, 10:30 am - 11:15 am. Stories and crafts will be offered. The library has prizes and books to give to story time participants!

• The Oklahoma City Zoo Read for Adventure contest began July 8: check out the book “Juniper’s Butterfly Garden.” When the book is returned, the child receives 4 free passes to the OKC Zoo. Passes may be used for kids, adults, or seniors.

• Pawhuska Public Library now subscribes to The Oklahoman newspaper Sunday issue! Students 5 – 12 years of age may participate in The Oklahoman’s Summer Reading contest: Find the answer to the weekly question, and get your name in a drawing for a set of books!

Question for the week of July 12: Look at a copy of The Oklahoman or Oklahoman.com at home or at your library. Find the stock listings in the Business section or the Business page. Did the Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index go up or down?

Major sponsors of Summer Reading are the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sonic Corporation, The Oklahoman, and the OKC Zoo.


State health department launches new initiative

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) last Thursday launched a new COVID-19 alert system that offers the public and local elected officials a clear method to recognize and communicate the current COVID-19 risk level in each county and to guide health behaviors.

The Oklahoma COVID-19 Alert System is a four-tiered risk measurement tool with corresponding color categories that identify the current COVID-19 risk level by county.

“This new COVID-19 alert system marries OSDH’s robust data reporting with additional public health steps that should be considered county by county to confront elevated risks of community spread,” said Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, M.D. “The color-coded system is an easy way for business owners, local leaders, and the public to know at a glance when extra precautions should be taken.”

Each color category is based on daily new cases per 100,000 persons. The color-coded county map will be updated every Friday as part of the agency’s 11 a.m. Situation Media Advisory and will be based on the 7-day rolling average:

Green: 0 \ 1.43 daily new cases per 100,000 persons;

Yellow: 43 \ 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 persons;

Orange: > 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 persons;

Red: > 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 persons, plus one of four additional gates triggered.

OSDH will deem a county as in a high-risk phase if the county is reporting more than 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 and one or more of the four thresholds occur in the state within a given week.

Statewide ICU threshold: Percent of ICU beds available \5% statewide;

Statewide Medical/Surgical threshold: Percent of medical surgery beds available \5% statewide;

Statewide Ventilator threshold: Percent of ventilators available \5% statewide;

Facility PPE threshold: Average days of PPE on hand and available \ 5 days statewide.

The state will work with local officials in red counties on a remediation plan.

The red phase is triggered when additionally assessing statewide health system capacity definitions, assumptions and plans in the Oklahoma Hospital Surge Planning Toolkit, and with assessing numbers based on hospitals’ bed capacity at 100%. This status indicates statewide, systemic challenges and pressures on the healthcare system resulting from COVID-19.

This new alert system is subject to further revisions. Guidance for each risk category is available for individuals, businesses, high-risk individuals, and children on the COVID-19 dashboard at coronavirus.health.ok.gov.


OBI collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) is collecting convalescent plasma from donors who have recovered from COVID-19, as part of an experimental initiative to use the product to treat seriously ill patients.

By creating the only statewide registry of available patients, Oklahoma Blood Institute can ensure local patients receive the donated products and have the best possible chance at fighting the illness.

“We’re excited to play our part in ensuring Oklahomans have access to all treatment options, including convalescent plasma,” said John Armitage, MD, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute.

Donors are encouraged to sign up for Oklahoma’s registry at: my.bio-linked.org. Bio-Linked allows users to submit confidential health and social information via a secure site and to list themselves as potential volunteers for medical research. Once qualified, plasma will be drawn, with each donor providing up to three therapeutic plasma doses.

“The Oklahoma State Medical Association is proud to have partnered with the Oklahoma Blood Institute to initiate this proactive program for our COVID-19 patients who may suffer from severe disease in the future,” said Larry A. Bookman, M.D., president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association.

To provide convalescent plasma, donors must be eligible to donate blood and meet the criteria below:

— Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a positive laboratory test;

— Present negative results for COVID-19, either from nasal swabs or a molecular (RNA or nucleic acid) diagnostic blood test;

— Symptom-free for 14 days prior to donation;

— If female, either no history of pregnancy or negative for HLA (tissue typing) antibodies.


Workers will be able to train for technology jobs

OKLAHOMA CITY – Up to 100 Oklahomans who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic will build their technical and business skills as a prelude to new careers in the tech field through a new program from the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development and CompTIA, the leading nonprofit association for the tech industry.

The program will provide 100 dislocated workers around the state with free online training, professional certification opportunities and job placement assistance for new careers in technology. The state established the program using COVID-19 related dislocated worker funds from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“This program offers Oklahomans who lost their job due to circumstances beyond their control an opportunity to re-enter the workforce in a completely new industry or occupation,” said Don Morris, executive director of the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development. “For some, this means the ability to come out of this terrible situation in better place than they began.”

Central to the program is CompTIA Custom Training’s mentored learning regimen. This flexible program allows students to learn at their own speed, level and convenience, with the support of experienced instructors at every step of the learning process.

“We recognize that learning is very individual, which is why engagement with our instructors, who are experts in their fields with years of real-world experience, is a vital part of the program,” said Mark Plunkett, senior director, global training operations and business development, with CompTIA Custom Training. “CompTIA mentored learning delivers the right balance of self-paced learning and classroom-based courses and labs.”

The training will focus initially on CompTIA A+, a professional certification that validates core skills and abilities in areas such as cybersecurity, data backup, recovery and storage, device configuration, networking, operating systems, technical support, and troubleshooting.

“CompTIA A+ is the industry standard for launching a tech career in today’s digital world,” said Jason Mangold, global workforce development manager at CompTIA. “Hiring managers know that a tech pro who is CompTIA A+ certified is ready to be a contributing team member on day one.”

The demand for help desk and technical support professionals remains strong in many markets and industries across the state.

More than 1,200 openings for tech support positions were advertised in job postings by Oklahoma employers during the first six months of 2020, according to CompTIA’s analysis of Labor Insight data from Burning Glass Technologies. Tech support jobs were available in a variety of industries, including aerospace, communications, consulting, education, finance, government, healthcare, and retail.

Participants in the Oklahoma program will have the option of continuing their training with CompTIA Network+, which focuses on configuring, managing and troubleshooting networks, and CompTIA Security+, which validates core cybersecurity skills and provides a springboard to more advanced cybersecurity jobs.

Interested Oklahomans can visit the Oklahoma Works website to learn more about this program and enrollment opportunities.

CompTIA offers best-in-class, instructor-led training, both on-site and in a virtual environment, to bolster the workforce development initiatives of corporations, academic institutions, government entities, and nonprofit organizations. Visit CompTIA Custom Training for more information.

CompTIA is also the global leader in vendor-neutral technical certifications in skills ranging from IT support and networking to cybersecurity and cloud computing. Nearly 2.7 million CompTIA certifications have been awarded to technology professionals in 232 countries.

About CompTIA

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5.2 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the more than 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce.