OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt is implementing a “Shelter in Place” order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Holt is amending his COVID-19 state of emergency proclamation to implement “Shelter in Place” from 11:59 p.m. Saturday, March 28 through April 16.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum is also implementing the order in Tulsa.
Holt’s order outlines rules residents must follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Shelter in Place” requires Oklahoma City residents to do the following:
- Stay home. Exceptions are below on this list.
- You can shop for groceries, medicine, gas, repairs, and other essential goods and services.
- You can go to a restaurant for takeout or drive-thru service.
- You can go to the doctor and take care of other essential needs.
- You can exercise outside, including on sidewalks, trails and in public parks. You can enjoy outdoor activities like long walks, bike rides and fishing. Green spaces in parks are open. But all playgrounds are closed. City-owned golf courses, fitness courts, dog parks, recreation center and sport courts (basketball, tennis, volleyball, etc.) are closed.
- You can go to work in an essential job. You can also do business with someone working in an essential job. Those jobs are defined by the State of Oklahoma, using a federal list and one provided by the Governor. Find out more at okcommerce.gov/covid19.
- You can drive, bike, walk and take transit. You don’t need special ID or a permit. Police aren’t asking people to prove why they’re outside their home.
- You can work from home if you work in a job defined by the State as non-essential. You can also work with someone doing a non-essential job from home. Even if it’s an essential job, employers are encouraged to allow employees to work from home if possible.
- Staff are allowed on site even at closed non-essential businesses for basic tasks like maintenance and security.
- You can check on a family member or close friend in need.
- You can donate at blood drives, volunteer at food banks and participate in other disaster response activities.
- Staff can be at faith-based sites to record or broadcast services.
- Stay 6 feet away from others, for your safety and theirs.
- Wash your hands before you leave your house, and as soon as you get home.
- You can call 911 if you have specific information about someone violating the order. Police may investigate. Officers will ask for voluntary compliance, but may use discretion to issue citations if necessary.
The action was recommended by Holt’s COVID-19 Public Health Advisory Group, and was coordinated with the City of Tulsa for simultaneous implementation.
Oklahoma City and Tulsa have joined 43 of the nation’s other 50 largest cities in issuing a “Shelter in Place” order.
The amended proclamation incorporates Gov. Kevin Stitt’s previous closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Holt issued the following statement regarding his “Shelter in Place” order:
“Our legal teams in Tulsa and Oklahoman City have been reviewing Governor Stitt’s March 24 executive orders, and believe they are functionally the same as ‘Shelter in Place’ orders in other American cities. However, because that terminology was not used, there has been concern that the effectiveness of the executive orders in reducing COVID-19 transmission has been affected. In consultation with our public health advisors in both cities, Mayor G.T. Bynum and I feel it is best to remove any confusion and explicitly state what is already largely true. We want to leave no doubt with our residents that the safest course of action during this public health crisis is to stay home, unless you are engaged in an essential job, essential errand, or outdoor physical activity.
As I have said this week, in a free society, the reality is that only you can truly keep yourself sheltered in place and safe from COVID-19. The public health experts and I are asking you to be our partners in this effort. Let us look to the experiences of other cities and let us remember that we are literally saving lives. Let’s stay home and be well.”