Bars, gyms, theaters ordered to close, restaurants to serve only take-out or delivery, with modified state of emergency in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt announced Tuesday he will modify the proclamation of a state of emergency to order all bars, gyms and theaters to close, and restaurants to serve only take-out or delivery food, until April 12.
The announcement is to help limit the spread of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) in Oklahoma City. Public health officials say it’s critically important to limit social interactions, which will slow the rate of infection and ensure people who are sick receive the best possible care.
“Public health officials tell me this is the most serious pandemic our community has faced in the last half-century,” said Mayor Holt. “The loss of life in Oklahoma City would be profound if we did nothing.”
Get the latest local COVID-19 updates at covid19.okc.gov.
Under the terms of the state of emergency:
All bars and similar venues without on-premises food (hookah barks, cigar bars, vaping lounges) and shopping mall food courts must close from 5 p.m. today (March 17) through April 12.
All bars and similar venues with on-premises food, breweries, restaurants and coffee shops may serve only take-out or delivery food, or pre-packaged alcohol authorized for sale under state law, from 12:01 a.m. March 18 through April 12. They must otherwise remain closed to everyone but employees.
All athletic gyms, exercise facilities, indoor sports facilities, indoor climbing facilities, trampoline parks, bowling alleys, skating rinks and similar recreational facilities must close from 12:01 a.m. March 18 through April 12.
The Remington Park gaming area must close from 12:01 a.m. March 18 through April 12.
Staff may still perform maintenance duties at these facilities.
The terms of the original emergency proclamation are also still in place. The City has revoked all special event permits through April 12, banned gatherings of more than 50 people at most City facilities, and is requiring a distance of at least 3 feet between transit users. Read the details here.
Mayor Holt made the announcement Tuesday at a news conference at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD). The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has confirmed nine of 17 statewide COVID-19 patients are in the Oklahoma City metro. Some cases are attributed to community spread.
The emergency proclamation is authorized under Chapter 15 Article III of City Code. It will remain in effect until the Mayor signs a proclamation to end it. The Mayor may modify the terms of the emergency for as long as it remains in effect.
The terms of the declaration are based on fast-evolving guidance on mass gatherings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OSDH and OCCHD.
Visit covid19.okc.gov for the latest local news, updates and guidance on COVID-19.
A violation of the proclamation’s terms would be a class “b” misdemeanor under City Code, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $750.
- OKC metro summary from OCCHD
- Help medical providers by knowing your risk
- COVID-19 testing in the OKC metro
- Home OKC Homeless Services resources
- Statewide summary from OSDH
- Household preparation guide from the CDC
- National Disaster Distress Helpline (24/7, year-round counseling and support)
- Heartline Oklahoma (2-1-1) (24/7, year-round resources and support)
- Oklahoma Small Business Disaster Economic Injury Assessment
Information and recommendations from the OCCHD, OSDH and the CDC:
- Practice social distancing. Stay home if you can. Work from home if you can.
- Avoid large gatherings. They are already banned in most City buildings and facilities.
- Older adults and people with chronic illness should avoid all non-essential air travel. They are at a higher risk for a more severe infection.
- COVID-19 symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms, follow the latest guidance from OSDH at coronavirus.health.ok.gov.
- OKC metro situation summary
- Oklahoma situation summary
Preparation and prevention
- Here's a guide from the CDC about preparing your household.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home and avoid contact with others when you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Try singing "Happy Birthday" twice, because that's about how long it takes. It's especially important to wash your hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Healthy people don't need a face mask for protection from any respiratory disease, including COVID-19. Masks are for people showing COVID-19 symptoms to prevent spreading it to others, and for health workers or others taking care of a sick person in a close setting like a home or health care facility.
- Symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever and shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms, follow the latest guidance from OSDH at coronavirus.health.ok.gov.
- Prolonged school closures have been announced. Families and employers should plan to adapt.
- Get help if you're distressed. If you don't know where to start, contact the national Disaster Distress Helpline or Heartline Oklahoma (2-1-1).
- Be prepared, not scared. Find more information on how to make a plan and build an emergency kit for any emergency at home here. Find information specifically for COVID-19 on how to prepare your household here, or prepare your business here.
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- Sign up for City of OKC news emails.
- Watch City Channel 20 on Cox Cable or live anywhere on YouTube.
- Download the OKC Connect smartphone app for Apple or Android.