Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: As of May 19, authorities in Oklahoma, US, have lifted multiple business restrictions as part of the 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 19 May 2020 13:25 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
As of May 19, authorities in Oklahoma have lifted restrictions on multiple businesses, services and activities, as part of phase 2 of the state's economic recovery plan. The restrictions had been in place due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

As part of phase 2, the following businesses, services, and activities are allowed:

  • Personal care businesses, including hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, and spas, by appointment only, and closed waiting areas
  • Dine-in services at restaurants and bars
  • Movie theaters and other entertainment and sports venues
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Places of worship
  • Organized sports
  • Weddings and funerals


Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and those in energy, transport, security, media, and critical manufacturing, continue to operate. 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.

Phase 3 of the economic recovery plan is scheduled to begin June 1; however, authorities may delay lifting additional restrictions if COVID-19 activity increases. 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, through at least June 12.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities are likely to deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order in short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures are likely to 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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