Businesses Issue Permits to Employees Amid “Safer at Home” Order
On Tuesday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a statewide executive order, “Safer at Home,” which closes non-essential businesses in counties that have confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and effectively encourages all citizens to stay home.
Announced through a virtual press conference, Stitt issued the order in response to the advancement of COVID-19.
Businesses have begun responding to this order by issuing permits to their employees that show they are on their way to a job that qualifies as “essential” under Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Employees are being given these permits for fear of their employees being stopped by the police while they are on their way to work.
A permit from Best Buy said, “I am a Best Buy employee on my way to or from work. We continue to operate and serve the essential needs of our customers, including the vital technology that keeps them connected to school and work from home, and the appliances necessary to help them store and prepare food.”
Similarly, a permit from WinCo shows, “The individual in possession of this letter is an employee of WinCo Foods. WinCo Foods operates as a ‘Grocer’ and is recognized by state and federal officials as an ‘Essential Service.’”
Thus far, the communication from the Oklahoma government has in no way indicated that citizens should fear being stopped by police because of Stitt’s “Safer at Home” order.
“We’ve gotten a lot of calls from people concerned they need special permission to shop for groceries or get to work,” said Oklahoma City Police Captain Larry Winthrow on okc.gov. “You don’t. Officers will investigate credible, specific allegations of anyone who is violating the state of emergency, but they will not be stopping people just to ask where they’re going.”
If the permits become necessary, anyone in possession that is pulled over must show their work ID along with the permit.