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Published 03/13/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 4 sec
By Black Wall Street Times Staff
Amid a growing global pandemic, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt took his family to a crowded restaurant on Saturday evening in Oklahoma City, snapped a selfie, posted it on social media, and folks dragged him for it. Oklahomans’ disapproval was so loudly pronounced, their objection even trended on Twitter, bringing national attention.
The governor later deleted the Tweet.
On March 5, 2020, Stitt addressed to the press, “we are prepared and remain vigilant in minimizing risk for citizens in our state.” Yet, many believed Stitt’s actions are hypocritical and display poor leadership because he ignored CDC recommendations. Oklahoma is one of only three states that has yet to declare a state of emergency.
The director of research at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, when asked, “Should I be avoiding bars and restaurants?” said in The Atlantic “People should avoid gathering in public places. People should be at home as much as possible. The measures that have worked to get transmission under control or at least to bend the curve, in China and South Korea, have been extreme measures to increase social distancing.”
According to the CDC, spread of COVID-19 might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with the new coronavirus. Moreover, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their ‘own’ mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Though this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads, taking precaution is recommended.
Oklahoma currently has four confirmed COVID-19 cases, including five presumptive-positives; however, many Oklahomans believe that number is much higher due to the lack of test kits available in the state. The state acquired 500 more tests on Friday; to date the US has performed significantly less testing per capita than other impacted nations like South Korea and the UK.
The coronavirus has prompted numerous closures and cancellations of events to help mitigate community spread.
- Oklahoma City Public Schools, and several districts in the metro area, closed and began spring break early
- The City of Tulsa has canceled and prohibited events in city facilities and special event permits for events of 250 people
- Leonardo’s Children’s Museum in Enid has closed beginning Sunday, March 15.
- The Tulsa Home & Garden Show has also closed.
- The BOK Center has postponed its March Monster Jam event.
- The University of Oklahoma and the University of Tulsa have been cancelled.
- Tulsa’s Woody Guthrie Center has closed as of March 13 until further notice.
- The Oklahoma City Zoo will temporarily close on Saturday and plans to tentatively reopen on Monday March 23.
- The OU College of Medicine ‘Match Day’ set for March 20, has been canceled.
- The Wanenmacher’s Tulsa’s arms show on April 4 through 5 has been canceled.
- MercyMe concert has been postponed in Oklahoma City.
- Tulsa’s Boston Avenue United Methodist Church is closed until April 14th.
- The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has canceled its March Chamber Forum
- River Spirit Casino announced all their March shows, including Trevor Noah, Willie Nelson and Candlebox, have been postponed.