Patrick B. McGuigan
At an April 24 press conference, in subsequent press releases and statements to reporters, Mayor David Holt has laid out a methodical plan to reopen the Sooner State’s capital city.
Holt said that with many statewide restrictions expiring on April 30 and neighboring municipalities already reopening of headed in that direction, the local “Shelter in Place” order would expire. New requirements were set for implementation on May 1.
Public health data, Holt said, showed Oklahoma City reaching criteria set over the last part of April by the White House. As a result, the mayor said, according to a press release from city staff, “it’s possible to begin a phased re-opening of business activity. The critieria include the following:
- A 14-day downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-like syndromic cases.
- A 14-day downward trajectory in the percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive.
- Hospitals can treat all patients without crisis care, and all at-risk healthcare workers have access to a robust testing program.
- See the framework as of April 25 is presented here.
- The White House criteria for restarting the economy and a show shift toward daily living, as of late April, was presented in a document entitled “Opening Up American Again,” and detailed here.
Holt is signing a new city emergency declaration to “align large with recommendations by the state of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.
Anticipating the May shift, Mayor Holt said, “If there is a dramatic change in existing trends, we will re-evaluate. Also, May 1 is not a light switch, it is a dimmer. If we show signs of becoming a hot spot, I will not hesitate to act aggressively, as I did not hesitate before.”
In a more personal vein, Holt continued, “I know sometimes it can feel like you’re alone, and you wonder if your leaders prioritize your life. Well, I do, and I live with that obligation every day. I would argue my role in this fight is minor compared to yours. In the days, weeks and months ahead you will make 1,000 choices a day that will determine your fate and the fate of this pandemic. Your life is at stake, and so are the lives of those you love. You must social distance, you must wash your hands, you must wear a mask, you should still telework or otherwise stay home if you can.
“If you are a decision maker for a business, church, or other group of any kind, you still have to make decisions knowing there is a deadly virus making its way through our community. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you will, and I respect those decisions.”