Oklahoma City mayor issues emergency proclamation to minimize coronavirus spread as businesses reopen

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Mayor David Holt

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt has issued a new emergency proclamation to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as the state begins its phased reopening.

Holt’s proclamation, which goes into effect May 1, comes on the heels of his announcement that Oklahoma City will largely fall in line with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s multi-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy.

The provisions of the proclamation will be reevaluated no later than May 15. The phase of the proclamation must be at least two weeks to adhere to White House and State of Oklahoma guidelines. The proclamation can potentially go into another phase at the end of the two-week period based on public health data, according to a City of Oklahoma City news release.

“If we are to move into a new phase of our pandemic response, we should resolve to do so with conditions in place that limit the spread of this virus,” Holt said. “These social distancing and sanitizing protocols for the highest-risk activities have been vetted by our local public health officials and they represent common sense. There are many other best practices in state and national guidelines that we also encourage businesses to adopt, but the ones in the proclamations are not suggestions, they are requirements. Meanwhile, we continue to urge all residents to social distance, wash hands and wear masks in public to protect yourself and others.”

Under the new proclamation, all social gatherings of more than 10 people remain prohibited. This rule is in keeping with White House guidelines, according to the news release.

“A social gathering is defined as people coming together for socialization at a central point with specific people who don’t live in their household. The definition of a gathering does not include people in a location independently performing work as part of employment, people independently or in groups of 10 or fewer patronizing a business or open facility, or performing disaster relief work,” the news release states.

City-owned playgrounds, basketball courts and outdoor exercise stations will remain closed. People who use city-owned sports fields and courts are required to stay at least six feet away from people outside their household.

Community members are still asked to stay home when possible to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Mayor Holt and public health officials strongly encourage everyone to stay home when they can, and encourage employers to continue teleworking where possible. Without a vaccine or proven treatment, COVID-19 still presents a danger to our community,” the news release states.

Holts urges community members to continue washing their hands frequently, staying a healthy distance away from others and wearing cloth face coverings when engaging in public activities, such as shopping for groceries and running errands that require outside travel. Click here for instructions on how to make a mask at home.

Most businesses, including places of worship, are allowed to reopen on May 1, if they choose, but they must follow certain rules.

Bars without on-premises food service, night clubs, hookah bars, cigar bars, vaping lounges and the Remington Park gaming area cannot yet reopen.

The following is a breakdown of which business can reopen, along with the rules that those businesses must abide by:

Food Service

Restaurants, bars with on-premises food service, breweries, wineries, taverns, shopping mall food courts, food halls, cafeterias and similar food service establishments must maintain at least the following standards to limit the spread of coronavirus:

• Employees’ temperatures should be checked each day either by the employee or their employer.
Employees with a fever of 100.4 degrees or should not be at the facility.
• Servers and staff interacting with customers must wear a face mask or covering.
• Tables for seating must be at least 6 feet apart.
• Menus must be single-use or capable of being sanitized with antimicrobial disinfectants after each use.
• Condiment bottles must be sanitized after each table change, or served in a single-use packet, disposable container or washable dish.
• Service at buffets and salad bars must be provided by an employee only.
• Tables, chairs and objects needed to complete a purchase must be sanitized with antimicrobial disinfectants after each use.
• No parties of 10 or more are allowed at one table in the dining area, unless they are household family members.

Personal care services

Hair and nail salons, barber shops, cosmetology facilities, esthetician facilities, laser hair removal facilities, spas, massage facilities, tattoo parlors and piercing facilities are required to follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sanitizing protocols and comply with at least the following standards:

• Customers may be seen by appointment only.
• Employees’ temperatures should be checked each day either by the employee or their employer.
Employees with a fever of 100.4 degrees or should not be at the facility.
• Employees must use face masks or coverings.
• Disposable face masks must be offered to all customers who don’t have their own mask.
• All chairs and tools must be sanitized using antimicrobial disinfectants between customers.
• While receiving services, customers must remain at least 6 feet away from other customers.

Gyms and other athletic facilities

All athletic gyms, recreation centers, exercise facilities, indoor sports facilities, indoor climbing facilities, bowling alleys, skating rinks, trampoline parks and similar facilities must enforce strict social distancing, CDC sanitizing protocols and maintain the following standards:

• Employees’ temperatures should be checked each day either by the employee or their employer.
Employees with a fever of 100.4 degrees or should not be at the facility.
• Employees that have contact with the public must wear face masks or coverings.
• Doorknobs, gates, counters and other high-touch surfaces should be regularly cleaned and sanitized with antimicrobial disinfectants.
• Locker rooms and bathrooms, particularly high-touch surfaces, must be cleaned and sanitized regularly and have hand-washing supplies.
• Hand-washing or hand sanitizing supplies must be available for employees and customers.
• Rental and shared equipment must be cleaned and sanitized by the customer or an employee between each use using antimicrobial disinfectants.

Entertainment and places of worship

Movie and live theaters, concert halls, bingo halls, sporting venues, amusement parks, places of worship and other businesses where people gather for presentation or entertainment must enforce strict social distancing, CDC sanitizing protocols and adhere to at least the following standards:

• Employees’ temperatures should be checked each day either by the employee or their employer.
Employees with a fever of 100.4 degrees or should not be at the facility.
• Offer seating in a staggered manner with at least two seats between customer groups in the same row. Every other row must be closed.
• Customer groups must be limited to no more than 10 people, unless they’re household family members.
• All food service must comply with the requirements for food service, which are listed above.

Other businesses and guidance

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) developed guidelines for other businesses to consult for best practices. Those guidelines will be posted at occhd.org/reopen.

“The guidelines may be updated often as the situation develops,” the news release states.

Looking ahead

Holt will continue listening to White House criteria while gauging Oklahoma City’s readiness for a new phase. He will also continue listening to local public health officials, and stay in touch with Stitt and state public health officials, according to the news release.

Click here to view the State of Oklahoma’s plans for this new phase, referred to as the OURS Plan.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Coronavirus symptoms include the following:

• Fever
• Dry cough
• Shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
• Chills
• Repeated shaking with chills
• Muscle pain
• Headache
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste or smell

Officials stress that if you are sick to do the following:

• Stay home
• Avoid public areas
• Stay away from others
• Wear a mask or other face covering when around other people

Click here for a symptom tracker.

Face coverings

The CDC recommends that you be out in public as little as possible, but if you must be out in public, that you wear a cloth face covering.

The CDC has the following key messages regarding face coverings:

1. Do NOT buy medical masks. They’re needed on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Cloth face coverings are for rare times you must be in public for essential work/errands. Physical distancing must continue.
3. Cloth face coverings aren’t primarily to protect you. They’re primarily to protect you from accidentally infecting others. They keep germs closer to your body, instead of going onto a surface that someone else touches later — even if that person is wearing a mask.
4. Many infected people take a long time to develop symptoms, or never do. If they wear cloth face coverings for rare outings, it’ll slow down COVID-19.
5. What’s a cloth face covering? Here’s a do-it-yourself guide from the CDC.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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