Friday, December 11, 2020

Stitt, Health Commissioner announce additional statewide COVID-19 measures

Limited public gatherings among updated efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 10, 2020) — Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and Commissioner of Health Lance Frye announced today an updated executive order to implement additional statewide COVID-19 mitigation measures.  

“I cannot thank Oklahomans enough for their tremendous personal sacrifices thus far to protect their loved ones and neighbors from COVID-19. We’re taking further steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and bring us closer to our three goals: protecting the health and lives of Oklahomans, keeping businesses open safely and getting our kids safely back in school,” said Gov. Stitt. “Our healthcare workers, hospitals, students and teachers and small business owners need our help.” 

The measures are intended to further slow the spread of COVID-19 and relieve pressure on crowded hospitals across the state. Action steps include:  

  • Attendance at youth indoor sporting events will be limited to four spectators per participant or 50% of the building’s capacity, whichever is lower.
  • Public gatherings will be limited to 50% capacity unless the local Health Department has granted an exception.
  • The rules for bars and restaurants, first implemented under Seventh Amended EO 2020-20 will be extended. Tables must stay six feet apart, unless separated by sanitized dividers, and restaurants and bars must close by 11 p.m. except for drive thru or takeout.
  • Face masks will continue to be required for all state employees and visitors in state agency buildings. 

“We’re optimistic with the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in Oklahoma, but it’s important to note that the vaccine is just part of slowing the spread,” said Dr. Frye. “Your actions are making a difference. Every time you choose to follow the three W’s, you are actively protecting those around you. You might even be saving a life.” 

Additionally, the governor and OSDH urged Oklahomans to continue practicing the three W’s during the upcoming holiday season and to follow CDC’s updated guidelines for quarantine. The CDC recently announced that the generally recommended 14-day quarantine period for anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 can be shortened to 10 or seven days under certain circumstances. 

  • Quarantine can end after day 10 without testing if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring. 
  • Quarantine can end after day seven if the individual tests negative and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring. 

“It’s very important that we keep up the hard work as we enter the holiday season. Follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine, practice the three W’s and celebrate virtually if at all possible,” said Dr. Frye.

The text of the executive order has not been posted on the Secretary of State's website yet, so here's some more information that was posted on Twitter by Shawn Ashley of eCapitol:

Good morning, early birds! Gov. Stitt is expanding his COVID-19 state of emergency executive order to limit the size of public gatherings and the number of spectators at indoor sporting events. The new order has not yet been filed, but Stitt said Thursday it would limit public gatherings, such as weddings, funerals and holiday parties, to 50 percent of the facility's capacity. Indoor sporting events also will be limited to 50 percent of the facility's capacity or 4 spectators per participant, whichever is lower. Churches, he said, would not be covered by the public gatherings provision, because they have limited attendance, implementing safety protocols, live streaming, and best of First Amendment concerns. Bars and restaurants will continue to be required stop indoor service at 11 pm & masks will continue to be required in state government buildings, the governor said. "The CDC has identified restaurants, bars and sporting events as areas where we need to be more careful," Stitt explained. Stitt & Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye said they were "cautiously optimistic" that Oklahoma "...started to flatten the curve and our trends are moving in the right direction."

Stitt noted Thursday's seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases per day stood at 3,058, only slightly higher than the 3,002 new cases per day reported November 23, just before Thanksgiving. Stitt acknowledged hospitals were nearing capacity.

"We need to do more to reduce to reduce the cases and provide some relief for our hospitals and health care workers," Frye said.


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