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Coronavirus, COVID-19 Update in Tulsa – March 17

This article was archived on 3/29/2020

Effective immediately, Mayor Bynum issued an executive order to close all Tulsa bars. At midnight, the Mayor has directed the closure of all commercial establishments and places of public accommodation, including restaurants, food courts and large entertainment venues.

The executive order applies to places like taverns, breweries, hookah bars, fitness centers, spas, amusement parks, etc. The executive order DOES NOT apply to places of public accommodation that offer food and beverage not for on-premises consumption, including grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries, other than those portions of the place of public accommodation subject to the requirements of section; 

The Executive Order DOES NOT apply to health care facilities, child care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities; crisis shelters, soup kitchens, restaurants and food courts inside the secured zones of airports are not affected by this executive order.

For a complete list of impacts, visit www.cityoftulsa.org

Situation Update

To date, 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.

City of Tulsa

Essential City operations continue, but with limitations. Authorities, Boards and Commissions (ABCs) and the Tulsa City Council have postponed all meetings this week. The City is getting more direction from the State next week on how to best carry out these duties virtually. The City’s Household Pollutant Collection Facility will be closed for the next two months and fees will no longer be collected for the Green Waste Facility.

Mayor Bynum issued a civil emergency declaration on Monday, 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.

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 online.

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.

The City, County and providers are looking at national examples and local resources to come up with short and long term plans to serve our most vulnerable Tulsans and those experiencing homelessness. The City has put additional sanitation measures in place and is in active conversation with the Tulsa Health Department.

For City employees, Mayor Bynum has issued a hiring and travel freeze. Employees who can are now working from home. The City has also been working closely with City Medical on employee protocols in regard to illness. City employees who get exposed to COVID-19 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.

To date, 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.

Business Impacts

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 are now being asked to submit their economic injury impacts through a survey that can be found at www.damage.ok.gov. The survey will allow the state to capture critical information on small businesses experiencing negative impacts, and will ultimately pave the way for the state qualifying for Small Business Association (SBA) disaster assistance.

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.

As businesses use delivery and pick-up options and close their lobbies, the City is allowing businesses to utilize a curbside pick-up parking space in front of their restaurant and will waive the fee so we can institute temporary pick-up location for restaurants. Businesses will need to fill out the form to receive a curbside pickup location.

School Updates

Beginning March 23, TPS will offer a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch to all of its students each weekday, which includes all TPS locations and the students of its partner locations. A formal distribution plan and pickup locations will be available on the TPS website no later than Friday, March 20.

Department Updates

Tulsa Fire - Tulsa Fire personnel are working normal hours at all fire stations and headquarters. TFD facilities are limiting public access to help reduce the 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 has closed 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 – On Monday, County Clerk Michael Willis announced plans that the areas of his office that conduct business on behalf of the county (Payroll, Accounting, Financial Services and others), located on the east side of the 1st floor of the County Administrative Building, will only be accessible to County Clerk’s office employees moving forward. Additionally, the County Clerk has contacted its regular customers and asked that they refrain from visiting the office unless necessary and continues to ask that citizens conduct their business via phone, email, or postal mail as much as possible.

Tulsa County Presiding District Court Judge William LaFortune also shared yesterday an Emergency Joint Order from the Supreme Court of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals instructing all district courts to follow new procedures to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The County continues to constantly monitor this evolving situation and are relying on the guidance of the Tulsa Health Department and the CDC to help make numerous decisions that impact the operations of the County as well as the wellbeing of its employees and the public they serve.

 

Basic Health Tips
Longstanding basic health tips can go a long way to help prevent the spread of the virus.

For more information, visit: www.tulsa-health.org/COVID19