To date, the Tulsa Health Department (THD) has confirmed 337 positive COVID-19 cases in Tulsa County. 27 residents have recovered and 19 have died. Test results are updated daily at www.tulsa-health.org/COVID19. For the most up-to-date news, information and business resources in Tulsa, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/COVID-19.
A Safer at Home Order is in place for every Tulsan, prohibiting public events, private events and social gatherings through April 30.
During the peak contagion period, it’s vitally important to stay steadfast and vigilant. Please stay home and only go out for necessities needed to survive at home.
Under the Safer at Home Order, residents can make essential trips to the grocery store, get medication and other necessary items needed for survival. Patronizing essential businesses for non-essential purposes, such as apparel or personal care services, should not occur. If you have questions of what you can or can’t do, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/yesorno.
City of Tulsa Updates
To date, 45 employees are in quarantine and one City employee has tested positive for COVID-19 and is recovering.
Tulsa Municipal Courts is now closed through April 30. Every court date has been pushed back an additional 30 days from the original rescheduled date. Residents with questions should contact Tulsa Municipal Courts at (918) 596-1625 or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help keep officers safe, Tulsa Police are asking residents to make non-life-threatening reports online at www.tulsapolice.org or by phone through the Tulsa Police non-emergency number at (918) 596-9222. 911 should be used for emergencies only.
Based on the City’s funding structure, with a heavy reliance on sales tax, Brookings Institute recently ranked Tulsa as one of the most vulnerable cities in the country to COVID-19 fiscal impacts. The City’s Finance team has been working to update projections and is following the markets and industry sectors.
Based on sales tax numbers so far, which consist of the last half of February and the first few weeks in March, the City projects to end the current fiscal year (June 30) $2.7 million behind budget.
In March, Mayor Bynum already issued a travel and hiring freeze. To cover the FY20 shortfall, the City anticipates using fund balance and potentially the Rainy Day Fund. On Wed., April 22, the Mayor will be discussing FY20 funding more in depth with the Tulsa City Council in their public meeting and will present the proposed FY21 budget, which starts on July 1.
Tulsa County Update
Yesterday, the Board of County Commissioners extended the restricted access to the Tulsa County Courthouse for another 3 weeks until May 4. Tulsa County road crew staff continue to conduct emergency road and bridge maintenance and repairs. Tulsa County Property Tax due dates have been extended and are due April 30. Payment options are online at: www.treasurer.tulsacounty.org.
The Juvenile Justice Center’s previous location is being cleaned and should be available next Monday to serve as a temporary homeless shelter to alleviate the overpopulation at the Day Center for the Homeless.
Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency (TAEMA) Update
Because this unprecedented time has fallen during severe weather season, TAEMA is advising all Tulsa area residents to make necessary preparations while they stay home. If you haven’t already, find a tornado safe place in your residence that’s away from windows, external walls and is located on the lowest level of your structure.
Tulsa does not have community shelters, which is notable during this time as we are all asked to stay away from others outside of our households. If you don’t have a place to go, come up with a plan now before the storm hits.
If you have a storm shelter in place, it’s important you register it with the City of Tulsa, so in the event damaging storm hits, first responders will be able to find you. You can register your storm shelter at: https://www.cityoftulsa.org/residents/public-safety/storm-shelter-registration/.
Additionally, it’s also that time of the year when Tulsa County sees more rain. It’s important to find out now if you’re in a flood-prone area. You can find out whether your residence is in a flood zone by inputting your address on FEMA’s website at: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search. In flooding situations, listen to local authorities and heed all warnings. If you’re in your car, don’t drive into high water. Turn around, don’t drown.
Testing Sites & Resources
Tomorrow, Earnest Childers VA Outpatient Clinic at 9322 E. 41st St. in Tulsa will conduct COVID-19 drive-thru testing for enrolled veterans. Testing is by appointment only. Veterans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can schedule a testing appointment by calling 1-888-397-8387.
THD offers specimen collection for a limited number of individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 who are uninsured or underinsured. For appointments, call (918) 582-9355.
211 also offers answers to questions about COVID-19. Like THD, 211 offers assistance to those who are uninsured or underinsured.
Economic Impact Payments
For those looking forward to stimulus checks from the federal government, the IRS announced this week the launch of a new web tool to help people receive their payments if they did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes using direct deposit. That tool can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here.
Additionally, the IRS announced it will be launching another tool to help people track the status of their stimulus checks. That tool is expected to be available next week at: www.irs.gov.
For those without bank or credit union accounts previously filed with the IRS, the time is now to do so to avoid waiting months for a check.
It’s not too late for those who have never given their account information to the IRS. And it’s not too late for those who are unbanked to open a bank or credit union account and get stimulus payments faster, more safely, and for free - directly deposited into their account.