TULSA, Okla. — Businesses and events are now open in Oklahoma, and more Tulsans are enjoying their summer outside with family and friends, even though record high COVID-19 numbers are being reported.
President Trump's campaign rally is still planned to take place in Tulsa this weekend, but concerns of an outbreak are increasing.
The rally, originally planned for June 19, will take place on Saturday, June 20 at the BOK Center.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum took to Facebook on Tuesday morning to comment on local hospital capacities and to express his thoughts on the rally.
Bynum said Tulsans accomplished the goal of allowing our healthcare systems the time to prepare for a long term pandemic.
He said the city has always know the positive case rate would increase as the state began to open back up. Bynum said, "Our hospitalization rate peaked in April and was on a downward trajectory even through the early stages of reopening. It has started to rise, but it remains comparatively low and our local hospital officials assure me their capacity remains strong. On Sunday, OSU Medical Center’s 120 COVID beds held 3 patients."
Bynum continued by speaking about President Trump's rally on Saturday.
Was the nation’s first large campaign rally after the arrival of COVID-19 my idea? No. I didn’t even know the invitation had been extended until BOK Center management contacted the City regarding Police support for the event.
He said he shares anxiety with concerned Tulsans about having so many people at the BOK Center. Including that he is a cautious person and would have "loved some other city to have proven the safety of such an event already."
Bynum said hundreds of Oklahomans go to work each day in buildings that are following guidelines by adjusting their operations. He adds that Trump's campaign has agreed to follow guidelines as well.
I also will not attempt to block the state government or the President of the United States by invoking the local civil emergency authority in our city ordinance. That authority was used earlier this year under extraordinary circumstances to prevent the catastrophic collapse of our local health care system. Today, that system’s capacity is strong.
Bynum ends by encouraging Tulsans to wear a mask when going to work, the story, church or any event.
The Tulsa Health Department tells 2 Works for You they are concerned about the safety of the community in any large gathering of people. Especially in close spaces where social distancing is hard to maintain.
Friday they reported the single largest daily case count to date, with 82 new cases in Tulsa County, just in one day.
They are associating this spike in numbers from a potential outbreak that's related to a large indoor gathering from last week, but are still investigating.
We spoke with Tulsa's County Commissioner Karen Keith about her concerns with the rally, and she says it's all disappointing.
“What about our employees that work in the BOK Center, what is it going to cost to clean it up? I mean there are so many issues on so many levels,” Karen Keith said.
The Tulsa Health Department is advising everyone to continue to follow public health and safety guidelines.
Practice personal responsibility by wearing masks, or cloth face coverings in public while also practicing social distancing.
Also, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds if you have been in a public place, or as much as you may need to.
If you need to get tested, there are plenty of options in Tulsa County.
OSU Center for Health and Sciences
When: Appointments Only 8am - 5pm.
Date: Monday - Friday
Where: 111 W 17th Street, Tulsa OK
OU - Tulsa Campus
When: Appointment Only 8am - 5pm
Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays
Where: 4502 E. 41st Street, Tulsa OK
OU - Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic
When: Appointment Only 8am - 5pm, Wednesdays
Where: 591 E. 36th Street North, Tulsa OK
When: Appointment Only
Where: Walmart Store #472 2301 W Kenosha St, Broken Arrow
Contact: 1800-635-8611 or Click Here
If none of these are close you can find more places near you, click here.
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