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What to expect in Phase I of reopening Tulsa

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Posted at 7:38 AM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 13:59:31-04

TULSA — Officials with the City of Tulsa, Tulsa County and the Tulsa Health Department provided a coronavirus update today.

Dr. Dart with the Tulsa Health Department updated the community with today's coronavirus numbers. Dr. Dart says that the City of Tulsa numbers are trending flat but have yet to decline.

He provided three main areas of emphasis when it comes to the coronavirus in Tulsa:

  • Social Distancing -keep following recommendations of best defense against COVID-19. Dart says to stay six feet from others who don't live in your home as this reduces potential of virus to spread. If you're high risk or symptomatic, stay home as much as you can.
  • Testing- anyone with symptoms or exposure can be tested at the sites, appointment only.
  • Contact Tracing- epidemiologist regularly doing this tracing to assess risk to people in contact with patients. They've done this for every case since this began."At this time we don't know what the new normal will be," says Dr. Dart. In order to protect safety, the Tulsa Health Department has posted guidelines for industry specific businesses for re-opening on their website. Consumers can report violations to the health dept.

We are going into mosquito season and traps are being deployed this week for testing.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum started by says that he wanted to let us know what to expect starting May 1.

Bynum says it would have been a disaster if we didn't do Shelter in Place and Safer at Home. This move is why our death rate is so much lower than others in the nation. No question that the actions of Tulsans to do social distancing and isolate themselves was crucial to allowing our healthcare system to build up what it needed over six weeks.

However, Bynum continued that we anticipate this virus being with us for quite awhile. So, we have to find an in between how it used to be, and how it is now. He says the community has to do this gradually, to see what we can do and still minimize exposure and spread.

Phase 1

Mayor Bynum says the purpose is to ID things we can do that still minimize the spread. This will enforce Federal and State guidelines in Tulsa and is how we start identifying how things will look in the near future, until there is treatment or vaccine.

Guidelines are located on the City of Tulsa website.

Different industries have different practices to deploy in the community to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. Bynum says while staying at home is the best way not to get the virus, there are things businesses can do to minimize the threat.

The Mayor continued by saying there is a prohibition on social gatherings of 10 or more people, and that work is not considered a social gathering.

No special event permits will be given before May 15, at the earliest. Bynum says City of Tulsa pools are closed for the summer as well as daycamps at City of Tulsa parks.

Sports that lend themselves to social distancing will be open with social distancing and hygiene in place. Bynum says, these guidelines will be enforced by the police department, and can range from citations to shutting down businesses.

Tulsa Police Chief Franklins says they will keep enforcing guidelines, encourages business owners to do their research into what they need to do in the plan to reopen.

Chief Franklin says there will be no warnings, just citations or arrests as needed when it comes to not following the guidelines.

Calls to car collisions will return to normal, Chief Franklin explained, and TPD anticipates more people on the roadways.

Chief Franklin says the coronavirus threat is not over. TPD is utilizing PPE and masks to protect officers. Also, Chief Franklin says TPD employees will keep working remotely.

TPD has had one positive case, and that officer has recovered.

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