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5.29.20 – KOCO – OKLAHOMA CITY — See video

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Friday that Oklahoma will move forward with phase 3 of the state’s reopening plans on Monday, June 1.

According to the governor’s office, Oklahoma currently has just 708 active COVID-19 cases out of nearly 4 million residents and 5,236 people have already recovered. Active cases in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties make up less than 0.03% of the population in their respective counties.

As of May 28, 188,665 tests have been performed with 3.77% coming back positive, Stitt said. Since phase 2 of the Open Up and Recover Safely plan was initiated May 15, 69,914 tests have been performed and 2.1% have been positive, Stitt said in a news release.

“We are making responsible decisions based on the data in our state,” said Gov. Stitt. “While cases continue to decline 36 days into our reopening, it is important Oklahomans remember COVID-19 is still in the United States and we must continue to be diligent about washing our hands frequently, maintaining physical distance and protecting our most vulnerable populations.”

Under phase 3, businesses may resume unrestricted staffing at their work sites by observing proper Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended social distancing protocols and are recommended to continue increased cleaning and disinfecting practices, according to the governor’s office. Individuals should minimize time spent in crowded environments and continue following CDC guidelines regarding social distancing.

Summer camps are allowed to open provided they follow safety guidelines. Businesses that had been operating by appointment only may begin accepting walk-in clients at their discretion.

In conjunction with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the statewide medical community, limited visitation to hospitals may be reinstated at the discretion of the facility. Visitation at nursing homes and long-term care facilities will remain suspended except for end-of-life situations until explicitly lifted by a future executive order, the governor said.

Here are the detailed guidelines during phase 3 of reopening:

Individual guidance:

  • Citizens should minimize time spent in crowded environments and continue following CDC guidelines regarding social distancing.
  • If you are over 65 or part of a vulnerable population, continue following safer-at-home policies.
  • Visitation to hospitals is allowed within the guidelines provided in the OURS plan.
  • Visitation to senior care facilities, except for end-of-life situations, will be prohibited until affirmatively lifted by executive order.

Employer guidance:

  • Summer camps (church and school) can open.
  • Businesses can resume unrestricted staffing at their work sites by observing proper CDC-recommended social distancing protocols and are recommended to continue increased cleaning and disinfecting practices.
  • Suggested guidelines regarding use of masks and other personal protective equipment can be found on the CDC website along with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce website.
  • Businesses operating by appointment only may begin operating by appointment and walk-in at their discretion.

Specific employer guidance:

  • Visits to senior care facilities should still be prohibited until the task force completes cleaning and testing protocols across the state. When this is completed, it will be posted on the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and the Oklahoma Department of Health websites.
  • Visits to hospitals shall be subject to the following limitations:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, health care facilities (hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient diagnostic centers, and clinics) are uniquely charged with protecting both the health of those they serve and the health of their caregivers. As an essential part of the front line to stopping the community spread of COVID-19, health care facilities should maintain compliance with current CDC guidelines regarding limiting visitation to their facilities through the establishment of policies that limit the number of people who may access their facility.

Depending upon the prevalence of community spread and number of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients in the facility, in consultation with medical staff, the facility shall determine the visitation policies. If determined that it is safe for the patient and the staff, the following visitation will be allowed in phases 2 and 3 of the OURS plan:

  1. Each patient may be permitted one adult patient representative to support and assist the patient with receipt of care. The patient representative should be the same throughout the admission or visit.

    a. Additional patient representatives may be permitted if exceptional circumstances warrant consideration and in compliance with facility policy.

    b. Patient representatives shall be subject to any screening procedures required by the facility including temperature screenings, observance of hand hygiene practices, and the wearing of their own mask at all times while in the facility.

2. The facility may further limit access to patients when patient representatives fail to follow facility policy.

3. Social distancing is required at all times.

While the data continues to improve on a statewide level, local governments are encouraged to make decisions that best fit their communities, Stitt said.

“Our measured approach to reopening has been a key reason why our data remains trending in a positive direction,” said Secretary of Health Jerome Loughridge. “It is vital that communities across the state only move to phase 3 when their local data supports that decision. The OSDH and the Governor’s Solution Task Force are available to consult any local officials on the best practices for their specific areas.”

Free COVID-19 testing remains available to all Oklahomans at more than 80 locations across the state. Click here to see where to get tested.

“As we enter phase 3 of reopening, the Oklahoma State Department of Health will be focused on maintaining and expanding trusted partnerships with the public to help us minimize the presence of COVID-19,” said interim Commissioner of Health Lance Frye. “We remind Oklahomans they do not need to be experiencing symptoms to get tested for COVID-19 at our more than 80 county facilities. We also encourage Oklahomans to take calls from, and stay in communication with, our growing contact tracing team, which will be a powerful tool in ensuring we can protect public health and the state’s economy as we recover.”

The Catastrophic Health Emergency declaration will end Saturday, at which time Stitt will issue a new executive order keeping critical protections in place to allow state agencies to effectively manage the continued impact of COVID-19, according to Stitt’s office.

The new executive order will encourage elderly and vulnerable Oklahomans to remain safer at home.

Industry-specific guidelines for safely reopening are available on the Department of Commerce website.