Oklahoma to officially begin reopening in phases amid COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Stitt says

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt provided an update to the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday.

The governor was joined by members of his Solution Task Force at the 2 p.m. press conference.

On Wednesday morning, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state currently has 2,894 confirmed cases of COVID-19.Data pix.

There are 170 total deaths in the state.

Stitt says Oklahoma has flattened the curve and made “tremendous progress” on personal protective equipment.

According to Stitt, the number of hospitalizations peaked at 560 on March 30, and continued to trend down for the entire month of April.

A graph released by Stitt and the task force tracks people in the hospital confirmed with COVID-19 or people in the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms.

298 Oklahomans are in the hospital with COVID-19.

Stitt says the state has 15x that amount of hospital beds available.

New cases are also continuing to decline.

Stitt says based on the data, the state will now begin reopening in three phases.

“We will do this safely, responsibly, and based on the data in the state,” said Stitt.

The state will not move into the next phase until data says it is safe to do so.

Phase One

Under Phase One, Oklahoma should continue to follow Safer-At Home guidelines, social distancing, and avoid social gatherings in groups or facilities.

Nonessential travel is still minimized.

Employers should create plans to allow employees to return to work in phases. Break rooms should also remain closed.

Those considered to be in the vulnerable population should have special accommodations from their employers.

Beginning Friday, personal care businesses can open if they adhere to strict sanitation and social distancing protocols.

Personal care businesses include hair salons, barber shops, spas, and nail salons.

Customers must continue to social distance, and businesses are encouraged to let customers wait in their car until it is time for their appointment, and take temperatures.

Then, starting on May 1, the following businesses can open statewide if they adhere to the sanitation and social distancing protocols.

  • Restaurants’ dining rooms
  • Movie theaters
  • Sporting venues
  • Gyms
  • Places of worship can open for in-person worship, provided that staff and volunteers wear a mask, do not serve food and coffee, and keep nurseries closed

Bars will remain closed.

If the hospital rates remain manageable for 14 days, the state would move to Phase Two.

Phase Two

Elderly and vulnerable Oklahomans will continue to follow Safer-At-Home guidelines.

Nonessential travel can resume.

Employers should still close common areas and gathering places.

Organized sport activities can reopen under strict social distancing and sanitation protocols.

Bars will also be allowed to reopen with diminished standing room occupancy, social distancing and sanitation.

Funerals and weddings can resume with social distancing.

Children’s areas and places of worship can reopen.

If hospital and incident rates once again remain manageable, the state would move to Phase Three.

Stitt says once the state is in Phase Two, guidance on Phase Three will be released.

He also says if numbers increase during this time, the state will pull back.

“We need to continue practice social distancing,” he said. “Do our part. Wear a mask if you’re in public. We will pull back if there is an increase in hospitalizations.”

Here are charts the Governor used during his announcement:

Clarification: Initially it was reported weddings and funerals could resume with no more than 10 people. That has since been updated.

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