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COVID-19 Situation Update, April 29, 2021

4/29/2021
This article was archived on 5/23/2021

Situation Update
As of April 29, the Tulsa Health Department (THD) has confirmed 74,049 positive COVID-19 cases in Tulsa County, with 1,033 people having died. Test results and additional data can be found at www.tulsa-health.org/COVID19.

Mask Update
Starting May 1, the City of Tulsa’s mask mandate will no longer be in effect.

When the mandate expires, it will end the requirement for masks in places of public accommodation, the spacing requirements for restaurants and bars, and the mask requirement for restaurant and bar employees.

Any business or venue may still choose to require masks at their establishment. Patrons who refuse to wear a mask in such an establishment will be subject to trespassing violations. For trespassing complaints, a business can call the Tulsa Police Department’s non-emergency number, (918) 596-9222.

There are several city services that still require masks. Tulsa Transit riders will still be required to wear masks on buses. Additionally, Tulsa International Airport will keep its mask mandate in accordance with federal government guidelines. 

Moving forward, the City defers to CDC guidance on mask-wearing in Tulsa. The latest CDC information on masks can be found online.

For a list of FAQs on masks in Tulsa, along with updated “Face Coverings Required” graphics for businesses who still want to have a mask requirement in place, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/masks.

New Executive Order
Today, Mayor Bynum issued an Executive Order mandating the submission of a COVID-19 safety plan for events or gatherings of 500 people or more (previously 150 people or more). The executive order applies to any gathering, whether it be a worship service, funeral, wedding, venue operation, special event, etc. with expected total attendance of 500 people or more.

Additionally, the executive order states all businesses within Tulsa city limits follow the State of Oklahoma’s OURS Plan

Vaccines Widely Available 
Anyone over 16 years old can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine through the State’s vaccine portal at: vaccinate.ok.gov

The portal is available in English and Spanish and can be accessed on the top righthand corner of a desktop or mobile device.

A federally supported community vaccination center is also open to anyone who wants a free vaccine at TCC Northeast Campus, 3727 East Apache Street. Walk-ins are welcome. 

For questions on vaccines and appointments, call THD at (918) 582-9355 or call 211.

City of Tulsa Updates
Those visiting any public-facing City facilities are required to wear a mask until further notice. This requirement also remains in place for all City employees. Tulsa Parks will continue to require patrons to wear mask inside all Tulsa Parks community centers. Temperature checks are no longer required inside City facilities.

Starting May 3, the City’s Permit Center at Tulsa City Hall will reopen for in-person services. Additionally, Tulsa Police records will also reopen.

If residents want to continue to do business online, they can utilize the online portal for permit applications (with the exception of the five permits listed below) and contractor licenses – both new and renewals. Residents will need to register through the online portal to create an account if they have not already done so. Plans will need to be uploaded for permit applications and State licenses will have to be uploaded for contractor licenses.

Commercial Priority review, Commercial Repair, Certificate of Occupancy, Residential Repair, and Demolition permit applications cannot be filed via the online portal and will need to be applied for in person.

Residents needing all other application types are encouraged to use the online portal and include all contact information. If a Permit Specialist has questions or needs further information, they will contact you. To pick up a permit that was applied for in person, call (918) 596-9456. A Permit Specialist will create an invoice that residents can pay online, and the specialist will provide plans electronically, either by email or through the permit portal.

Residents can make account deposits by mailing a check to the City of Tulsa Permit Center, 175 E. 2nd St., Ste. 450, Tulsa, OK 74103.

COVID-19 Relief Funding Updates

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

As of this week, the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has drawn more than 5,600 applications, and more than $540,000​ in rental and utility assistance have been distributed. The City and County’s partner organization, Restore Hope Ministries, is reviewing and processing each application and will notify the tenants who have been approved. Applicants can check the status of their pending applications online here.  

It is important to note the funds will go directly to the landlord or property manager. The program’s goal is to help any tenant and landlord who has been affected directly or indirectly during the pandemic. If you are facing immediate utility disconnect or eviction and have already applied, please email erap@restorehope.org.

The City of Tulsa was awarded more than $12 million for ERAP from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To find out if you’re eligible and apply for the assistance, visit: https://erap.restorehope.org/. For more information on the program, call (918) 528-9008. 

Homelessness Response 

The City’s overflow shelter has seen more than 23,624 visits from individuals experiencing homelessness at the former Tulsa County Juvenile Detention Center. The emergency shelter opened in September 2020. The facility, under the lead of the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, continues to provide crucial services during the pandemic that include shelter, free wellness exams, veterinary care, legal aid and case management. Meals are provided through a partnership with Iron Gate, with more than 39,470 meals having been administered to date. Other partners in this citywide effort include the Community Service Council and Housing Partners of Tulsa.

The money allocation is also helping fund the City Lights Hotel, in partnership with the City Lights Foundation. It provides a low-barrier shelter for those experiencing homelessness and a safe place to isolate those with COVID-19 symptoms. The hotel has sheltered around 230 people, of which 83 tested positive for the virus, and it has helped permanently house 49 people. Thanks to a partnership among local restaurants, the City Lights Hotel has provided more than 60,000 meals to guests at the hotel, along with case management and connection to support services.

Financial Empowerment Center

Since the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) launched in December, it has served 67 clients and has held more than 168 sessions. The one-on-one financial counseling is free for individuals, regardless of income, who are looking for long-term help in their financial goals. The topics include dealing with debt, creating a budget, building their savings and improving their credit. These are ongoing sessions with a trained counselor. Services are available in English and Spanish, as well as other languages supported through “Language Line.” You can schedule an appointment online or call 918-802-7279.

Financial Navigators

The Financial Navigators (FN) program also assists individuals with free financial advice, but the sessions are shorter than FEC. Counselors assist individuals with more immediate needs. The service is for those who need quick, immediate help on their finances. To date, 395 sessions have been completed and 1,741 referrals given. Navigators will speak with the client over the phone, identify resources and send them action steps they can take. Services are offered in English, Spanish, Zomi and Burmese. Utilities hardship, rental assistance and food insecurity continue to be the top three topics of concern among callers. For more information on the program and to schedule an appointment, visit this page or call 211.

Connect Tulsa

Eligible households can sign up for subsidized internet service through the City’s partnership with Cox Communications.  To qualify for the service, residents must currently lack internet at home and have a current student enrolled in Tulsa Public Schools, Union Public Schools, Jenks Public or Charter Schools, Educare, Headstart or CAP Tulsa who are receiving either government assistance or those who live in Section 8 Housing or live in Public Housing, among other eligibility requirements. For more information on the program and see if you qualify, contact Tulsa Responds at (918) 900-0918 or visit: https://www.tulsaresponds.org/    

Student Support Camps

The City of Tulsa Parks and Recreation’s student support camps remain open Monday through Friday, with Virtual Wednesdays, to help with students’ distance learning. The camps offer pod-style learning areas where students 1st through 6th grade can complete distance learning under the supervision of a support aide. There is a $25 fee per student per week. Register Online

To learn more about other City programs funded by COVID-19 relief funding online.