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Oklahoma health experts weigh in on Texas Gov. Abbott's executive order

Posted at 6:33 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 19:37:15-05

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma health experts are weighing in on the Texas governor’s latest executive order. The order calls for the state to start reopening March 10. The ruling is not sitting well with Oklahoma medical professionals for concern over a spike in cases.

READ MORE: Texas, Mississippi lifting mask mandates, allowing businesses to open at full capacity

“It didn’t make a lot of sense from a public health standpoint,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU chief medical officer.

Bratzler said Oklahoma and the region are on the mend. Oklahoma’s daily average for new cases is down 84% from January. A similar trend is being noticed in Texas. However, Bratzler fears retracting public health measures could cause resurgence of cases.

“The majority of people in Texas and in Oklahoma have not received the vaccines yet,” Bratzler said.

COVID-19 variants have not impacted our state’s trends. But, more people traveling for spring break could cause a greater risk for variants to spread.

“I think it’s kind of crazy and premature to be honest with you,” said Shereen Hashem, Dallas resident and former OU student.

Starting March 10, masks will be optional and businesses can operate at 100%.

“The vaccine hasn’t even been offered to the general public yet. So, why is he doing this,” Hashem said.

Dr. Bratzler said moving back to normal too quickly could have severe consequences to our progress so far, and more people need to be vaccinated.

“The vaccine is our ticket back to normalcy,” Dr. Bratzler said.

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