PRESS RELEASE New proclamation issued in Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 response; addresses distancing, sanitizing requirements for new phase beginning May 1 

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Mayor David Holt signed a new emergency proclamation for Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 response that includes required conditions on high-risk activities that are intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

This proclamation follows Mayor Holt’s announcement last Friday that he will largely align this new phase of Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 response with the State of Oklahoma’s OURS Plan.

The proclamation takes effect May 1. Its provisions will be re-evaluated no later than May 15. White House and State of Oklahoma guidelines require this phase to last at least two weeks. Based on public health data, it could potentially enter another phase at the conclusion of that two-week period.

“If we are to move into a new phase of our pandemic response, we should resolve to do so with conditions in place that limit the spread of this virus,” said Mayor Holt. “These social distancing and sanitizing protocols for the highest-risk activities have been vetted by our local public health officials and they represent common sense. There are many other best practices in state and national guidelines that we also encourage businesses to adopt, but the ones in the proclamations are not suggestions, they are requirements. Meanwhile, we continue to urge all residents to social distance, wash hands and wear masks in public to protect yourself and others.”

Visit covid19.okc.gov for the latest local COVID-19 news, guidance and City services updates.

General information

All social gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited, in keeping with White House guidelines.

A social gathering is defined as people coming together for socialization at a central point with specific people who don’t live in their household. The definition of a gathering does not include people in a location independently performing work as part of employment, people independently or in groups of 10 or fewer patronizing a business or open facility, or performing disaster relief work.

City-owned and publicly accessible playgrounds, basketball courts and outdoor exercise stations are still closed. People using other City-owned sports fields and courts must stay at least 6 feet away from people outside their household.

Mayor Holt and public health officials strongly encourage everyone to stay home when they can, and encourage employers to continue teleworking where possible. Without a vaccine or proven treatment, COVID-19 still presents a danger to our community. Residents are asked to wash your hands often, keep your distance, and wear a cloth face covering when in public, like when shopping for groceries and engaging in other critical errands. Click here for a guide on how to make a mask at home.

Most businesses, including places of worship, may open their doors on May 1, if they choose. Certain high-risk activities must adopt social distancing and sanitizing requirements.

Bars without on-premises food service, night clubs, hookah bars, cigar bars, vaping lounges and the Remington Park gaming area will remain closed to the public.

Food service

Restaurants, bars with on-premises food service, breweries, wineries, taverns, shopping mall food courts, food halls, cafeterias and similar food service establishments are required to maintain at least the following standards to limit the spread of the virus:
  • Employees’ temperatures should be checked each day either by the employee or their employer. Employees with a fever of 100.4 degrees or should not be at the facility.
  • Servers and staff interacting with customers must wear a face mask or covering.
  • Tables for seating must be at least 6 feet apart.
  • Menus must be single-use or capable of being sanitized with antimicrobial disinfectants after each use.
  • Condiment bottles must be sanitized after each table change, or served in a single-use packet, disposable container or washable dish.
  • Service at buffets and salad bars must be provided by an employee only.
  • Tables, chairs and objects needed to complete a purchase must be sanitized with antimicrobial disinfectants after each use.
  • No parties of 10 or more are allowed at one table in the dining area, unless they are household family members.

Personal care services

Hair and nail salons, barber shops, cosmetology facilities, esthetician facilities, laser hair removal facilities, spas, massage facilities, tattoo parlors and piercing facilities must follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sanitizing protocols and comply with at least the following standards:
  • Customers may be seen by appointment only.
  • Employees’ temperatures should be checked each day either by the employee or their employer. Employees with a fever of 100.4 degrees or should not be at the facility.
  • Employees must use face masks or coverings.
  • Disposable face masks must be offered to all customers who don’t have their own mask.
  • All chairs and tools must be sanitized using antimicrobial disinfectants between customers.
  • While receiving services, customers must remain at least 6 feet away from other customers.

Gyms and other athletic facilities

All athletic gyms, recreation centers, exercise facilities, indoor sports facilities, indoor climbing facilities, bowling alleys, skating rinks, trampoline parks and similar facilities must maintain strict social distancing, CDC sanitizing protocols and maintain these standards:
  • Employees’ temperatures should be checked each day either by the employee or their employer. Employees with a fever of 100.4 degrees or should not be at the facility.
  • Employees that have contact with the public must wear face masks or coverings.
  • Doorknobs, gates, counters and other high-touch surfaces should be regularly cleaned and sanitized with antimicrobial disinfectants.
  • Locker rooms and bathrooms, particularly high-touch surfaces, must be cleaned and sanitized regularly and have hand-washing supplies.
  • Hand-washing or hand sanitizing supplies must be available for employees and customers.
  • Rental and shared equipment must be cleaned and sanitized by the customer or an employee between each use using antimicrobial disinfectants.

Entertainment and places of worship

Movie and live theaters, concert halls, bingo halls, sporting venues, amusement parks, places of worship and other businesses where people gather for presentation or entertainment must maintain strict social distancing, CDC sanitizing protocols and comply with at least the following standards:
  • Employees’ temperatures should be checked each day either by the employee or their employer. Employees with a fever of 100.4 degrees or should not be at the facility.
  • Offer seating in a staggered manner with at least two seats between customer groups in the same row. Every other row must be closed.
  • Customer groups must be limited to no more than 10 people, unless they’re household family members.
  • All food service must comply with the requirements for food service, which are listed above.

Other businesses and guidance

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) developed guidelines for other businesses to consult for best practices.

Those guidelines will be posted at occhd.org/reopen. The guidelines may be updated often as the situation develops.

What’s next?

White House and State of Oklahoma guidelines for this phase require it to last at least two weeks.

Mayor Holt intends to continue listening to criteria defined by the White House as he gauges Oklahoma City’s readiness for a new phase, will continue to listen to local public health officials, and will stay in touch with the Governor and state public health officials.

To see the State of Oklahoma’s plans for this new phase, known as the OURS Plan, visit okcommerce.gov/covid19.

Background

With most statewide restrictions expiring April 30 and other local municipalities following suit, Mayor Holt announced last week that Oklahoma City’s “Shelter in Place” order would also expire April 30.

Public health data shows Oklahoma City is reaching White House criteria indicating it’s possible to begin a phased re-opening of business activity.

The City’s emergency proclamation is authorized under Chapter 15 Article III of City Code and Title 21, Section 1321.9 of Oklahoma Statutes. It was first issued March 16, and was previously modified March 17, March 25, March 28 and April 2. 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 state and local emergency restrictions are based on fast-evolving guidance from the CDC, OCCHD and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).

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