Mayor Holt signs new COVID-19 emergency proclamation

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt has signed a new COVID-19 emergency response proclamation that requires food service employees to wear face coverings and limits bar seating.

Holt signed the new proclamation Thursday and it will be in effect July 3 through July 17, according to a City of Oklahoma City news release.

The proclamation makes the following requirements to the following businesses and services:

Food service and similar

All employees of restaurants, bars and similar establishments are required to wear face coverings (masks) while on premises. The requirement also applies to breweries, wineries, taverns, shopping mall food courts, food halls, cafeterias, night clubs and any other food service establishments.

Bars are ordered to limit customer occupancy to 50 percent of the Fire Marshal’s listed occupancy load for the establishment.

“This includes any business designated by the ABLE Commission as a Type I facility,” the news release states.

Theater-style seating

Venues that have theater-style seating where people gather for presentations or entertainment must use staggered seating to ensure individuals are socially distanced from one another.

This mandate applies to movie and live performance theaters, concert halls, sporting venues, amusement parks, places of worship, wedding venues, event venues and funeral homes.

Recommendations

The proclamation also strongly recommends that community members wear masks.

“Mayor Holt and public health officials ask everyone in Oklahoma City to wear a mask when they’re indoors with people outside of their household and unable to stay at least 6 feet away from others,” the news release states.

Businesses have the right to enforce a mask policy, according to the proclamation.

“Mayor Holt reminds residents that businesses have every right to require the use of masks. He encourages business owners to do so, and states that the City of Oklahoma City is prepared to support private property rights,” the news release states.

Officials strongly encourage washing your hands regularly, avoiding unnecessarily touching your face and practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Officials also encourage businesses to consult and follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols and Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) guidelines, which are available at occhd.org/reopen.

All employers should allow employees to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from potential hazards on the job if it doesn’t interfere with essential job functions, according to U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.

Violations of the proclamation can be reported by calling 911. Such a violation would be a class ‘b’ misdemeanor under City Code, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $750.

“The emergency proclamation is authorized under Chapter 15 Article III of City Code and Title 21, Section 1321.9 of Oklahoma Statutes. It was first issued March 16, and was previously modified March 17, March 25, March 28, April 2, April 29, May 14 and May 29. It will remain in effect until the Mayor signs a proclamation to end it. The Mayor may modify the terms of the emergency for as long as it remains in effect,” the news release states.

COVID-19 symptoms include the following:

• Fever
• Dry cough
• Shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
• Chills
• Muscle pain
• Headache
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste or smell
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea

Click here for a symptom tracker.

“If you’re sick, do not go to the ER. Consult first with a health care provider. Regardless of whether tests show you have a common cold, the flu or COVID-19, doctors will tell most people to stay home, rest, get plenty of fluids and avoid contact with others,” the news release states. “If your symptoms worsen, you have difficulty breathing or you have a fever for more than 72 hours, call your doctor. If you don’t have health insurance or a doctor, call (405) 425-4489.”

State officials urge Oklahomans to stay home if sick, to stay away from ill patients and to frequently wash their hands. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Health authorities strongly recommend wearing a face mask.

“Federal, state and local public health authorities recommend you wear a face covering in public,” the news release states. “They’re primarily to protect you from accidentally infecting others. They keep germs away from others.”

Click here for the CDC’s do-it-yourself face covering guide.

At this point, Americans are urged to practice ‘social distancing’ by staying in their homes as much as possible and not going out into a crowd.

The virus is mainly spread from person-to-person, and symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure. Officials stress that the most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath.

If you do become sick, you are asked to stay away from others. If you have been in an area where the coronavirus is known to be spreading or been around a COVID-19 patient and develop symptoms, you are asked to call your doctor ahead of time and warn them that you might have been exposed to the virus. That way, experts say, they have the ability to take extra precautions to protect staff and other patients.

Starbucks closing down eating areas amid coronavirus
Starbucks closed down eating areas back in March by blocking off tables.

The novel coronavirus was first detected in China late last year and has since spread to locations across the globe, including the United States.

While the full extent of COVID-19 is not known yet, reported illnesses have ranged from extremely mild to severe, some resulting in death. Officials say that 80 to 85 percent of cases of COVID-19 have been mild, similar to a cold or the flu.

Older people and those with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are at a greater risk for a serious case.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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