OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt announced an end to the Oklahoma City shelter in place Friday afternoon, but that won’t be effective until May 1.
This big and at times visibly emotional announcement came soon after Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the plans for the state to reopen in phases. Mayor Holt said it’s one of the hardest updates he’s had to give.
“Do I like May 1? No, I said that,” Holt said. “Do I know there’s a date out there? Yes, and so I think our hand is forced a little bit here for it to be May 1.”
However, Mayor Holt added that several requirements, like social distancing and sanitization, will still be in place for businesses that decide to open. The announcement gives businesses that wish to open one week to prepare.
“Do I have reservations about that in my gut? Yeah,” Holt said. “But I can’t make decisions based on my gut.”
Despite bad feelings about the reopening, Holt said he’s basing his decisions off the nation’s top experts.
“I couldn’t bring anything to this podium today to tell you it shouldn’t be the day,” He said. “We meet the White House criteria.”
Some metro business owners are still putting reopening on the back burner for the time being.
“For us it’s not going to be May 1,” said Joey Morris, owner of The Press, A small restaurant in the Plaza District.
According to Morris, this pandemic hasn’t been easy on his restaurant.
“We’re trying to be all on the same page on this and none of us jump the gun,” he said.
Derek Sharp with No Regrets Tattoo’s is feeling the same way.
“I still feeling like putting my health as more important than money,” Sharp said.
Sharp said his parlor will be open May 1, but he won’t be in it. He said there are mixed feelings between co-owners.
“Nate really isn’t wanting to go back yet, but Travis is talking like he’s going to,” he said.
Mayor Holt has a warning for businesses that do reopen and the customers who choose to visit them. He says while the lockdown may be coming to an end, the virus won’t be.
“There is a deadly virus in this community that has no vaccine and no proven treatment and you’ve got to act accordingly,” Holt said.
Holt said if there is a spike in cases, the city will reevaluate the situation.