LAWTON, Okla. (KFOR) – The city of Lawton has put in place some of the toughest social distancing rules to for businesses and employees in the state.
Mayor Stan Booker said his office has seen current models that show the hospital becoming overwhelmed, so they’re trying ta act as quickly as possible.
“Limit movement in the community,” Booker said. “When you limit movement in the community, you limit the spread of the virus.”
City officials have been studying how methods that appear to be effective in other states like Oregon, California, and Washington.
“Washington in particular, and to some degree the others, have actually had success in flattening the curves, and we have worked to emulate the things that are working,” Booker said.
On Friday, they signed new mandates that began to go into effect over the weekend and Monday.
These include limiting allowed groups to up to six people, and imposing a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for everyone.
For the time being, furniture stores are only allowed to sell appliances, and sporting goods stores are only allowed to sell guns and ammunition.
All stores must limit the number of people allowed inside at a time according to the store’s square-footage, and only one shopper is allowed.
Stores like Walmart or Target can now only sell clothing or sporting goods via curbside service.
Booker said preventing shopping for fun has been one of the biggest challenges for cities.
“We limited and we got rid of the social shopping and pleasure shopping,” he said. “Now is not the time for pleasure shopping.”
The city now requires sanitation stations at gas pumps and plexiglass shields at person-to-person registers.
“The cashiers who have kind of been some of the unsung heroes of this, keeping essential services going, need protection as well as the customer,” Booker said.
The mayor said police will do everything possible to urge compliance with these rules before handing out citations.
“The places where we’ve seen the most personal responsibility, we’ve seen the best flattening the curve, so what’s important here more than enforcement is personal responsibility for everybody to care about the other person,” Mayor Booker said. “That’s what the mask is about. It’s about protecting the other person.”
News 4 asked Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt for an interview to find out whether his office is considering similar measures. A spokesperson said he didn’t have availability to meet Monday, but provided the following statement:
“He is not available for an interview but responded that he is paying close attention to efforts by cities to keep people safe around the state and country. If he feels like more restrictions or safeguards are needed in Oklahoma City, he will put them in place. He’s pleased that many businesses are taking proactive steps to protect their employees and customers.”
The full list of rules for Lawton individuals and businesses can be found on LawtonOK.gov.