Business as usual has some local employees worried about their health and safety


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — While some businesses are closing and sending employees home due to COVID-19, others are staying open and operating business as usual.

“The convention center is our largest project and extremely important project for the city and the tax payers,” Kirk Mammen, Vice President and Area Manager for OKC’s Flintco Construction office, said. 

That’s why Mammen told News 4 over the phone Monday that the project will continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Even though around 300 workers could be on site some days, he said social distancing measures are in place. 

“If you think about it, on a job site, especially a job site that large, that much square footage, it’s pretty rare on a given job where you’re going to have 11 workers within six feet from each other,” Mammen said. 

Another large job site keeping business as usual for now is Hobby Lobby’s headquarters, distribution center and stores. 

A letter sent out to employees reads in part, “We serve a God who will guide us through this storm.” 

“I absolutely don’t like it at all,” one woman told News 4. 

She didn’t want to share her name in fear of her husband’s job security at the distribution center. 

“He’s scared to go to work because he knows the health issues he’s had in the past and this is something that’s worse than the flu where if he gets it, he could possibly not be here anymore,” she said. 

She told News 4 her husband was told Hobby Lobby will stay open until it’s mandated they close. 

We contacted Hobby Lobby with some questions and we haven’t heard back. 

There is no lockdown or “stay at home” order in place for the state right now. 

The state’s largest county, Oklahoma County, also has no plans to issue one, yet. 

“This is a county level of that but our primary jurisdiction, although we do a lot of coordination efforts with the municipalities, is really focused on the unincorporated areas. So, we don’t have the density of businesses and those types of things in those areas,” David Barnes, the Director of Emergency Management for Oklahoma County, said. 

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