Some Oklahomans push for statewide ‘Shelter in Place’ order


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The governor issued new travel restrictions over the weekend, but as cities like Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Norman have gone to shelter in place orders, there has still not been a statewide directive.

Many Oklahomans are asking why there is not a statewide shelter in place decree.

“When we talk about social distancing and hygiene, that really means staying at home doing everything you can remotely,” said Dr David Chansolm, Head of Infectious Disease for Integris Medical. “Stay at home and really socially distance now.”

Some government officials are following that advice.

Cities like OKC, Tulsa, Stillwater, and Norman, along with neighboring states, have “shelter in place” mandates.

While Governor Kevin Stitt has taken steps towards that, there is nothing statewide for Oklahoma.

“We are asking the governor to push us towards a shelter in place to follow the lead of the majority of states in this country,” said Nate Morris.

Morris is a Tulsa community activist who started S.O.S or Save our State- a Facebook page he claims has seen 40k followers join it in less than a week.

“If the Governor doesn’t act immediately to move us to a shelter in place, we are not going to be able to keep our healthcare systems, our hospitals from being overwhelmed,” said Morris.

Morris says now is the time to learn from other cities and states around the country.

“The data is showing us that we could lose thousands if not tens of thousands of Oklahomans within the next few months if we don’t act now and move to a very strict and enforceable shelter in place.We just need statewide action that is clear concise and accurate,” said Morris.

Gov. Stitt’s office sent us the following Q&A in regards to statewide shelter in place:

Is there a plan in place for a statewide shutdown similar to NY, CA, LA?  Is there a tipping point for Oklahoma to cross to see that implemented?

Governor Stitt is meeting regularly with his team of advisors and public health experts and reviewing daily data reports coming from Oklahoma’s medical community. This week, the State is updating its modeling on COVID-19, and he will continue to drill into the data to drive and best inform State actions on COVID-19

Some Health Experts have gone on record saying the county by county plan is not effective.  There were pictures out of Broken Bow this weekend of mass gatherings, they are not under the shelter at home.  Thoughts?

Governor Stitt’s Executive Order prohibits all gatherings of 10 or more across all 77 counties in the state of Oklahoma. The Order also requires businesses statewide to “take all reasonable steps necessary to comply with the Order and protect their employees, workers and patrons.” Personal responsibility will be crucial to Oklahoma working together to flatten the curve, but the governor reserves the right to enact stronger measures if people refuse to do the right thing.

Oklahoma as one of the highest per capita death rates from the pandemic.  Are stronger measures needed to flatten the curve and protect Oklahoman?

The per capita death rate is not an accurate representation of COVID-19’s impact on Oklahoma due to a lag in testing compared to other states caused by initial supply limitations from the federal government. A large portion of Oklahoma’s population is made up of people age 65 or older or individuals who are immuno-compromised, which is why the Governor ordered a shelter in place for this population earlier on and is requiring it thru April 30.

What is the current state of the mediations with the pandemic? I’m sure it has pushed back the time table?

Judge DeGiusti extended the deadline to May 31.

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