OK Gov. Stitt announces plan to reopen state

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — On Wednesday, Governor Kevin Stitt announced he will begin opening the state in three phases, starting on Friday. 

“I want to be clear when it comes to reopening our economy, protecting the health of Oklahomans remains my top priority,” Governor Stitt said. 

On Wednesday, Stitt announced he’s reopening the state in phases. 

“Starting on Friday, personal care businesses can reopen for appointments only if they adhere to strict sanitation protocols,” Stitt said. 

Hair stylists, like Dee Dean with Salon and Spa on Spring Creek, were relieved to hear the news. 

“This is great news. I’m really excited,” Dean said. “I probably got 15 messages from my clients during the news conference.”

The second part of phase one starts on May 1st. Many businesses including gyms, movie theaters and restaurants can begin opening as long as they have strict social distancing measures in place. 

“Fantastic, everybody wants to open of course, you know, but we’ll be methodical. The safety of our staff, our guests will be paramount,” Bruce Rinehart, owner of Rococo Restaurant in OKC, said. 

Rinehart said they haven’t decided if they will be opening on May 1st. 

“We may even do a couple of soft openings and invite friends and family in, so we can go through the process,” he said. 

There is a chance that May 1st date could be pushed back for some cities. 

Mayor David Holt sent News 4 this statement on Wednesday: 

“Mayor Bynum and I, as well as the Oklahoma Municipal League, have been in constant communication with the Governor this last week as he has developed a statewide vision for a new phase in pandemic response.  We are very appreciative for that line of communication with the Governor.  
As was announced three weeks ago, and in the interest of public health, our city’s shelter in place proclamation lasts through April 30th, as does the closure of personal care services. 
On the advice of our local public health experts, it is our intent to follow the spirit of the White House criteria for potentially entering a new phase after April 30th.  We dearly hope that public health data allows Oklahoma City to consider entering that new phase on May 1st as the Governor has envisioned.  We will continue to monitor public health data and will provide updates on our local plans as we have them.”

Mayor Breea Clark in Norman also tweeted: “Why pick fights with mayors, @GovStitt? Like OKC and Tulsa, Norman’s Stay at Home Order will remain in place through 4/30. You may be willing to risk lives by moving forward without proper testing or a plan for contact tracing, but I’m not. #localgov #covid19 #oklahoma

“We want to open, but we want to do it the right way too and I don’t think a rush to do it is the smartest thing,” Rinehart said. 

If you’d like to see the full list of which businesses can open and when, according to Governor Stitt’s announcement Wednesday, click here.

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