Stitt: Oklahoma ready to begin phase 3 of reopening plan

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State leaders say as the percentage of positive coronavirus cases continues to decline, they are moving forward with the third phase of the state’s reopening plan.

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that Oklahoma will proceed to phase three of the ‘Open Up and Recover Safely’ plan on Monday, June 1.

On Friday morning, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state has had 6,338 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March. Data pix.

According to the latest data, experts say there were only 68 new cases of the virus from Thursday’s numbers, or a 1.1% increase.

Right now, officials say there are 998 active cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

“We are making responsible decisions based on the data in our state,” said Gov. Stitt. “While cases continue to decline 36 days into our reopening, it is important Oklahomans remember COVID-19 is still in the United States and we must continue to be diligent about washing our hands frequently, maintaining physical distance and protecting our most vulnerable populations.”

Under phase three, businesses may resume unrestricted staffing at their worksites and are recommended to continue increased cleaning and disinfecting practices.

Also, summer camps are allowed to open if they follow safety guidelines, and businesses can begin accepting walk-in clients at their discretion.

Limited visitation at hospitals can be reinstated, but visitation at nursing homes and long-term care facilities will remain suspended.

“Our measured approach to reopening has been a key reason why our data remains trending in a positive direction,” said Secretary of Health Jerome Loughridge. “It is vital that communities across the state only move to Phase 3 when their local data supports that decision. The OSDH and the Governor’s Solution Task Force are available to consult any local officials on the best practices for their specific areas.”

Officials say that Oklahomans need to continue to practice social distancing, good hygiene, and healthy habits to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Phase One

Beginning April 24, the following businesses reopened for appointments only and must adhere to sanitation protocols:

  • Hair salons
  • Barbershops
  • Spas
  • Nail salons
  • Pet groomers
  • State parks and outdoor recreation should be reopened.

At the same time, officials say employers should create a plan to bring employees back to work in phases, close common areas and enforce social distancing protocols.

Also, businesses are encouraged to honor requests of personnel who are members of a vulnerable population for special accommodations.

Beginning May 1, the following businesses reopened:

  • Restaurants
  • Entertainment venues
  • Movie theaters
  • Sporting venues
  • Gyms
  • Places of worship
  • Tattoo parlors

Officials say businesses should adhere social distancing and sanitation protocols. Places of worship should leave every other row or pew open and adhere to social distancing and sanitation guidelines.

Phase Two

Under phase two, residents were encouraged to avoid socializing in groups, but may consider resuming non-essential travel.

Organized sports activities reopened under proper social distancing and sanitation protocols.

Authorities say visits to senior care facilities and hospitals were prohibited, but funerals and weddings could continue under social distancing guidelines.

Also, bars could operate with diminished standing-room occupancy. Children’s nursery areas in places of worship could reopen as well.

Phase Three

Beginning June 1, employers can resume unrestricted staffing at worksites, and summer camps can open.

However, visits to senior care facilities and hospitals should still be prohibited.

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