City of Bartlesville officials are reviewing an Executive Order issued by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt stating that “all businesses not identified as being within a critical infrastructure sector as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and located in a county experiencing community spread of COVID-19, as identified by OSDH on its website, shall close by midnight tonight” — as well as other provisions including a “Safer in Place” measure that puts people at higher risk for Covid-19 at home except when conducting “essential errands.”
The governor announced the order during a press conference held Tuesday.
“Yesterday afternoon, Governor Stitt announced that he was issuing an executive order affecting primarily the 19 counties in Oklahoma where residents have tested positive for Covid-19, including Washington County,” City Manager Mike Bailey said today. “We obtained a copy of the order this morning, along with other documentation including a memo from the governor and U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidelines, which the governor referred to during his press conference.
“We are working to determine how this order will directly impact Bartlesville — our citizens and our businesses — as well as how this order affects the City ordinance that was approved by the City Council earlier this week. Once we’ve made these determinations, we will communicate our findings and move forward accordingly.”
In part, the order states:
- Adults over the age of 65 and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, collectively referred to as “vulnerable individuals,” shall stay in their home or place of residence except for working in a critical infrastructure sector and the conduct of essential errands. Essential errands shall mean those errands which are critical to everyday life and includes obtaining medication, groceries, gasoline and visiting medical providers. The vulnerable population is encouraged to use delivery and/or curbside services whenever available.
- Oklahomans and medical providers in Oklahoma shall postpone all elective surgeries, minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures until April 7.
- Social gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Businesses within a critical infrastructure sector shall take all reasonable steps necessary to comply with this order and protect their employees, workers and patrons.
- Effective at 11 :59 p.m. on March 25, all businesses not identified as being within a critical infrastructure sector as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and located in a county experiencing community spread of Covid-19, as identified by the Oklahoma State Department of Health on its website, shall close. Additional sectors may be designated as critical by Executive Order or Memorandum. Nothing in this provision shall prevent restaurants and bars from providing pick-up, curbside and delivery. This shall be effective until April 16.
- Visitors are prohibited from entering and visiting patients and residents at nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and retirement homes.
Bailey said local businesses should continue to comply with the City ordinance approved by the City Council on March 24.
“There is a possibility that the State order will impact the City ordinance,” he said. “But exactly how it will affect the local ordinance has yet to be determined. We feel the best course of action to take at this point is to make the order, the governor’s memorandum and the DHS guidelines available to the public so everyone is aware of the information we’ve received.
“I am confident we will have clarification on these issues very soon. As always, we will communicate that information as soon as possible so that everyone understands how to proceed.”
To view the order issued by Gov. Stitt, see Governor Executive Order 3-24-2020.
To view the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, see CISA Guidance Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.
To view the memorandum issued by Gov. Stitt, see Covid-10 Amended Executive Memorandum.
To view the ordinance approved by the City Council on March 23, see Covid-19 Ordinance No. 3525 Emergency Measures 3-23-20
For more information about this issue, see City Beat March 24.