The State and Tulsa Health Departments have confirmed three residents in Tulsa County have tested positive with Coronavirus-COVID-19 from travel – one has already recovered. As with the flu, the COVID-19 virus is spread from person-to-person contact. With confirmed cases in Tulsa and the weekend announcement of community spread in Oklahoma, we need to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions by following basic health tips on hand washing and social distancing. Though most recover from this illness, COVID-19 is more severe in elderly populations and in those with underlying medical conditions.
Today, Mayor Bynum issued a civil emergency declaration, which gives officials the authority to move expeditiously from a policy and purchasing perspective during the COVID-19 threat. Mayor Bynum also updated his executive order from Saturday and is limiting gatherings at all City-led and City-owned facilities to 50 people based on the latest CDC guidelines.
Mayor Bynum also announced TMUA (Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority) and the Water & Sewer Dept. are issuing a water cutoff moratorium, which means the City will not perform any new water meter shutoffs. The City is making every effort to make continued water service available to citizens, as well as restore service to those citizens currently without water. To do this, citizens should contact 311 to communicate a request to restore water service or confirm water service is still needed at a location.
All major attractions in Tulsa County have agreed to close indefinitely. Attractions include; Philbrook, Gilcrease Museum, Discovery Lab, Tulsa Zoo, Oklahoma Aquarium, Gathering Place, River Parks, Botanical Gardens, Historical Society, AHHA Tulsa, Woody Guthrie Museum, and Tulsa Garden Center. Open space at River Parks and Gathering Place will stay open.
The City has received questions from businesses asking what they should do during this threat. At this time, the City is urging all businesses to take the CDC’s recommendation of keeping gatherings below 50 people at a time. Mayor Bynum has requested a vote of the Board of Health on restaurant operations during the COVID-19 pandemic event. Dr. Dart advised this would be forthcoming.
City of Tulsa – Mayor Bynum has issued an employee hiring and travel freeze. The City has initiated a work from home policy, extending to employees who have the ability to do their jobs remotely. The City has also been working closely with City Medical on employee protocols. City employees who get exposed to COVID-19 will are covered by worker’s compensation. Employees working remotely will continue to be paid as usual, as well as those who miss work due to exposure and quarantine, as covered by Mayor Bynum’s emergency revision that expands Hazardous Conditions Pay.
At this time, three City employees have entered the COVID-19 testing protocol and are quarantined at home after possible exposure. Current impacted employees are from the Tulsa Fire Department, Tulsa Police Department and the Water and Sewer Department. The City is working to ensure those employees’ working environments are being properly cleaned and sanitized. The health of every employee is being constantly monitored, and employees who exhibit any symptoms of a respiratory illness are being sent home.
To help better limit the spread of COVID-19 in municipal courts, access is now limited to defendants, attorneys, interpreters, family members/friends who are there to interpret, and others requiring court access by necessity or law. For those who want to pay tickets, utilities and get permitting, the City is encouraging the use of its E-Services, which can be accessed at www.cityoftulsa.org/residents/payments-and-e-services/
Tulsa Fire - Tulsa Fire personnel are working normal hours at all fire stations and headquarters. TFD facilities will utilize limited access to help reduce any spread of the virus. A TFD internal Coronavirus taskforce is working closely with the medical director to reduce exposure to responders. TFD will continually monitor EMS calls, inventory, and department status. The most important thing for the citizens to know is this, all 42 frontline apparatus have been reinforced with additional personal protective equipment (PPE) making certain that firefighters have the recommended exposure protection to ensure that our citizens receive the response and care they deserve.
Tulsa Police - The Tulsa Police Department is dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of Tulsa. Currently, Tulsa Police is closing the Records Division to the public. As TPD closely monitors the COVID-19, officers will continue to perform all essential duties including responding to calls for service. Should the situation worsen, we have planned a measured response to ensure your police department will maintain its patrol staffing levels. The Tulsa Police Department has a system in place to monitor essential employee absenteeism and thus far have seen no notable differences from our normal staffing levels. If you need to make a police report and there is no suspect present, please consider using our online reporting system or a TPD Telephone Reporting Officer. Both of these will start the investigative process the same as an officer responding to your home or business, for more information go to www.tulsapolice.org. However, if you need immediate assistance, don’t hesitate to call 911 for Police, Fire, or Medical.
Tulsa County – Following the State of Emergency issued by Governor Stitt, Tulsa County has declared a State of Emergency for Tulsa County. Tulsa County District Court has implemented temporary measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by suspending all Civil, Family, Forceable Entry and Detainer and Probate Division dockets through Friday, March 27. All district court judges are being asked to use their discretion in granting continuances for reasons related to public health. In regard to County operations, county facilities are open and operating at this time, with the exception of events or gatherings of more than 50 people, per the latest CDC guidelines. The public is asked to conduct business as much as possible by phone, email or mail. In-person visitations to the Tulsa County Jail are shut down, with the exception of virtual visitations. The Tulsa County Sheriff‘s Auction on Foreclosed Properties has also been suspended until further notice.
Basic Health Tips
Some longstanding basic health tips can go a long way in helping prevent COVID-19 transmission. Note that face masks and gloves are to be saved for health care professionals and are not for use by the general public.
For more information, visit: www.tulsa-health.org/COVID19