Norman Mayor Clark: Places of worship, entertainment venues can reopen this week

Church cross

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Norman Mayor Breea Clark has amended the city’s three-phase ‘Healthier at Home’ plan to allow places of worship and entertainment venues to open this week.

“We have consistently made data driven decisions supported by medical professionals that have helped us to lead the way and set the bar for how to handle a pandemic in our state. None of the decisions made to date were to hurt business or to infringe on rights; they were to protect people. And what we are doing is working,” Clark said. “Although our restriction on in-person services for places of worship has been consistent with both our restriction on comparable mass gathering venues and identical restrictions on in-person services by the State’s earlier proclamations, I will not spend years feuding with the federal government over one week. I love this country with every ounce of my being and I love this City. I encourage our residents to wear masks and make smart decisions for their health and the health of others.”

Clark’s amendment to the plan comes after Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter demanded city leaders change the plan so that places of worship could open in the first phase of the plan, and after the U.S. Attorney’s Office urged Clark to allow places of worship to open.

The ‘Healthier at Home’ timeline, which largely follows Gov. Stitt’s reopening plan, is now as follows:

Beginning May 1, the following areas opened as part of Phase 1A:

  • Groups of 10 or less
  • Gyms open with restrictions
  • Non-essential retail open with restrictions
  • Dining areas open with restriction, by reservation
  • Pet grooming open by appointment
  • Music lessons, physical training, open one-on-one
  • Golf courses, tennis courts, baseball, softball, soccer fields open
  • Massage therapy and tattoo parlors can open by appointment only
  • Personal care providers such as hair salons, nail salons, and tanning salons can open by appointment only
  • Places of worship can reopen if they follow the Governor’s guidance for restrictions
  • Entertainment venues, movie theaters and sporting venues can operate with reduced capacity

If cases trend downward, the following areas will open by May 15 as part of Phase 1B:

  • Groups sizes limited to 10 people or less
  • Organized youth sports begin practicing
  • Playgrounds and basketball courts open

Beginning May 29, the following areas will open as part of Phase 2:

  • Groups of 25 or less
  • Community pools open with restrictions
  • Massage and tattoo parlors open with restrictions
  • Summer camps open with restrictions
  • Bars open with restrictions
  • Updated guidelines for businesses released.

Beginning June 12, the following areas will open as part of Phase 3:

  • Groups of 50 or less
  • Hospital and senior living facility visits resume
  • Organized youth sports begin games
  • Updated guidelines for individuals and businesses released.

Places of worship and entertainment venues are now allowed to open in Phase 1A rather than Phase 1B, a City of Norman news release states.

The news release describes the ‘Healthier at Home’ plan as “a three-phased approach to opening Norman businesses and public facilities while continuing to ensure the city’s healthcare system does not become overwhelmed and adequate Personal Protective Equipment remains available to medical personnel and first responders.”

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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