Mayor David Holt pleads with OKC residents, stay home for 10 days

One in every 100 residents in the Oklahoma City metro has tested positive for COVID-19 this month. Mayor David Holt pleaded with residents in a press conference Thursday to have another “aha moment” about the real impacts of COVID-19. 

“I don’t even know your friends, but right now, I’m gonna tell you, based on the city’s numbers, your friends have the ‘Rona, and you should do a Zoom instead,” Holt said.

Around Nov. 1, the metro area’s 7-day average was 300 new COVID-19 cases per day. Now on Nov. 19, it has risen to 800 new cases per day.

Holt questioned whether people understood the term  “personal responsibility” as it’s been used plenty through the pandemic. 

“Taking a bet that you won’t catch COVID-19, but you’re also taking a bet on your children’s education, healthcare worker’s lives, and the lives of those in higher-risk categories,” Holt said. 

Holt urged residents to take a break from higher-risk activities for at least the next 10 days. During the news conference, Holt announced that he will issue an emergency proclamation to enforce Gov. Kevin Stitt’s new statewide restrictions on bars and restaurants, which means Oklahoma City police will enforce the restrictions in Oklahoma City limits.

Places of worship are also taking precaution over the following week.

Stitt’s latest COVID-19 restrictions, starting Thursday, Nov. 19, include:

  • All restaurants must space tables at least 6 feet apart, unless tables, booths and bar areas are separated by sanitized dividers.
  • All bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m. each night. No in-person service of food or alcohol will be allowed after 11 p.m. except for restaurant drive-through  windows or curbside pickup.

Data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows the state has had 1.8% increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March.

The true number of infections, though, is likely higher because many people haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The state reports that more than one-quarter of the county’s hospital beds have COVID patients in them.

OKCPS Superintendent Sean McDaniel issued a news release Thursday afternoon, stating that school district staff will begin working remotely Friday and continue to do so through next week.

This trend can be seen across the country, local officials are making big changes to combat this wave of COVID-19. 

The Associated Press reported Iowa hospitals are filling up, and Gov. Kim Reynolds has dropped her opposition to a statewide mandate for mask use to combat the spread.

Reynolds signed a proclamation Monday requiring everyone over 2 years old wear masks when in indoor public spaces.

Gov. Stitt has also remained against a statewide mask ordinance. 

Holt’s other plea, and that of the county’s top health official, was for residents to consider changing their Thanksgiving plans. 

“Not seeing your family for one Thanksgiving is far better than having that chair empty next year and every year thereafter,” said Dr. Patrick McGough, executive director of the City-County Health Department.

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