Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Authorities in Oklahoma, US, to launch new phase of relaxing business restrictions from June 1 as part of COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Lawton, Oklahoma
  • Woodward, Oklahoma
  • Enid, Oklahoma
  • Cushing, Oklahoma
  • Bartlesville, Oklahoma

This alert began 30 May 2020 13:14 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Oklahoma (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite, from June 1
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Oklahoma will initiate Phase 3 of the state's economic recovery plan from June 1, and further lift restrictions on businesses and activities. The restrictions were previously enforced to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under this phase, authorities continue to urge residents 65 years and older and those with underlying health conditions to remain at home as much as possible, and all residents to avoid socializing in groups and to maintain proper distance from others when in public. Beginning June 1, the following will be permitted:

  • Businesses may resume with unrestricted staffing, while observing social distancing and sanitization protocols.
  • Businesses previously authorized to operate by appointment only may begin to accept walk-ins, at their discretion.
  • Hospital visitations may resume under specific guidelines. Visitation to senior care facilities will remain prohibited.
  • Summer camps are allowed to open provided they follow safety guidelines.


All businesses must enhance sanitation procedures, close common areas where employees may gather, ensure proper distances between customers and workers, and avoid gatherings. Employers should screen workers' temperatures and monitor for possible symptoms, not allow symptomatic employees to work, and provide appropriate protective equipment; recommended guidelines may vary by industry.

Transport and business disruptions are likely to persist even with the easing of restrictions. Officials could amend the order in short notice, depending on local disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures could accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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