By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City will adhere to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s three-phase plan to reopen businesses starting tomorrow, said Mayor Matt Dukes.
Citing a downward trend in new positive cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations, Stitt unveiled a three-phase plan yesterday afternoon. It allows the state to gradually loosen restrictions as long as it can manage the number of positive cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations. The plan also requires sufficient testing with the ability to conduct contract tracing, and sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment and critical medical equipment.
“We will do this safely, responsibly and based on the data in our state,” Stitt said. “From the beginning, it has been my attempt to do two things. Number one, protect the health and lives of Oklahomans, especially the most vulnerable. And two, to mitigate the impact of Oklahoma’s economy and get Oklahomans safely back to work.”
Personal care businesses, such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and pet groomers can open on Friday, April 24 by appointment and with restrictions for social distancing and sanitation guidelines.
Churches, restaurant dining rooms, movie theaters, gyms, sporting venues and tattoo parlors can open with restrictions on May 1 as part of phase one. Stitt’s plan allows for additional phases of the reopening to occur if the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are at a manageable level.
Stitt encourages people to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing and sanitation. Those who are over 65 or have underlying medical conditions are advised to stay at home through the end of May as part of the first two phases.
Dukes said the city will follow Stitt’s order “verbatim.” The restrictions can be reinstated if necessary due to a rise in new cases of the virus, Dukes said.
“We’re relieved that we’ll be able to get back into business,” Dukes said. “We just do not know what the fallout will be with businesses reopening.”
Midwest City’s current emergency ordinance currently extends until April 30. City Manager Tim Lyon is expected to issue a revised ordinance today.
City hall and the senior center will remain closed to the public at this time, Dukes said.
Mayors of Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Norman said they will not allow businesses to open until at least April 30.