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Oklahoma COVID expert calls large, indoor events 'irresponsible'

Posted at 7:51 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-21 00:24:28-05

TULSA, Okla. — Dr. Dale Bratzler, chief COVID officer at the University of Oklahoma said large, indoor events are "irresponsible" on Friday.

"They shouldn't be happening," Dr. Bratzler said.

His remarks come after a viral video inside Victory Christian Church showed concert-goers shoulder-to-shoulder inside the worship center. Victory rented the auditorium out to a third-party for the concert.

READ MORE: Some Tulsans concerned over indoor church concert held Tuesday night

"You can see how easily it would be to spread the virus in an environment like that," Dr. Bratzler said.

Kristin Ware, show promoter for Braum's "An Affair of the Heart" arts, crafts, and boutique show is defending hosting the event this weekend.

"We consider all of those things when planning the show and deciding how to move forward or if to move forward," Ware said.

Ware told 2 Works for You the show organizers worked with the Tulsa Health Department and Tulsa Fairgrounds administration to install proper COVID precautions at the event.

She said they reduced the number of vendors by 25% to allow more space for social distancing. Organizers are also requiring face coverings, providing sanitizing stations, and labeling one-way aisles.

"We really felt like people were doing their part, for the most part, to spread out and make it, like I said, kind of like a grocery store or other local boutique and not be all up in each other's personal space," Ware said.

Victory Christian Church Pastor Paul Daugherty told 2 Works for You in a text, they're altering their plans for a Thanksgiving "Friendsgiving" event Sunday. Daugherty said it will be more like an "out-to-eat" event and no meals will be served inside the church.

Victory representatives didn't say if the changes come in response to backlash from the viral concert video.

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