Oklahoma lawmakers announce COVID-19 precautions for session

Thousands rally at Oklahoma capitol amid looming budget cuts
Posted at 3:11 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 16:11:20-05

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma House and Senate leaders on Friday announced COVID-19 safety protocols for the upcoming legislative session that include encouraging, but not requiring, lawmakers to wear masks when at the state Capitol.

The precautions announced jointly by House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat include requiring staff and visitors to wear masks and livestreaming of all proceedings. There will also be limits on capacity of committee rooms and legislative chambers, remote voting on bills in committee and proxy voting in the Senate and remote voting in the House on bills on the floor of the bodies.

At least seven of the state's 149 lawmakers and Gov. Kevin Stitt have tested [] positive for the coronavirus.

The session begins Monday.

The state health department on Friday reported 384,217 total virus cases and 3,471 deaths due to COVID-19, increases of 2,787 cases and 48 more deaths than Thursday.

Oklahoma ranked sixth in the nation in the number of new cases per capita with 936.43 per 100,000 population, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The data shows a decline in the seven-day rolling average of cases from 4,164.57 per day to 2,626.29 while the rolling average of deaths increased from 30 to 40.43 per day.

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