TULSA, Okla. — Mayor GT Bynum announced today that he will end the City of Tulsa's civil emergency status tonight at midnight.
In the mayor's Facebook post, Mayor Bynum states he is making this decision after consulting with the Tulsa Health Department leadership and other members of the Mayor-Council COVID Working Group.
The post continues to say that Tulsa's COVID-19 trends continue to look good following the end of the mask ordinance on April 30.
"In January, over 25% of hospitalizations in Tulsa were COVID patients," writes Mayor Bynum. "On Wednesday it was 1.1%."
Mayor Bynum also publicly wrote thanks to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Tulsa Health Department, and the tribal governments in the region for administering vaccines to Tulsans.
The announcement is exciting news for the Tulsa's tourism economy, which is the third largest in the state. For major event organizers, this announcement means they don't have to submit a COVID-19 safety plan to the Tulsa Health Department.
“For tourism, it’s monumental because obviously this weekend, in two days we have the ironman Piedmonte’s Ironman North American National Championship,” Ray Hoyt, president of Tulsa's Regional Tourism said. “I was just with the leadership team with the ironman and they had created all these protocols and mandates around masks and then we literally released them today and they kind of saw that coming, so they made a lot of changes and actually we’ve gotten more volunteers because of it..and it’s just made things easier”
Hoyt said the rescinding of the civil emergency will eliminate the mask requirements set up by many of the events. However, many of the cleaning and safety standards implemented will remain.
“We should be practicing those standards, so I think, like other situations, this is a shift in how we’re going to clean rooms, and clean airplanes, and big venues like the BOK Center and I think just for health standards, it’s a good outcome,” Hoyt said.
He said keeping some safety standards will give travelers, tourists, and athletes a sense of confidence that venues and attractions are still following cleanliness protocols.
Hoyt said one can also expect to continue to see limited numbers in indoors spaces and large venues.
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