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Gov. Stitt: Oklahoma Will Proceed With Phase Two Of Reopening

Gov. Kevin Stitt talks during a press conference on the state's response to COVID-19. May 14, 2020

Twenty days into his reopening plan, Governor Kevin Stitt it’s time to move to Phase 2 on Friday.

Under Phase 2, funerals, weddings and organized sports can resume, and bars will be allowed to reopen with lower occupancy.

Stitt continues to call for a careful, data-driven reopening. He says there are only 932 active COVID-19 cases in the state and less than 5 percent of tests are coming back positive. He also touted Oklahoma having the eight fewest COVID-19 cases per capita in the United States and testing more people per capita than California, Georgia and Florida.

Oklahoma Secretary of Health Jerome Loughridge said Oklahoma has about 500 people trained or in-training to perform contact tracing. He says it's a labor intensive process and that contact tracing is underway in Texas County in the state's panhandle, where there has been a COVID-19 outbreak.

Colonel Lance Frye, the State Air Surgeon with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, said 2,000 tests have been done at Seaboard Foods in Guymon, where many of the cases are connected. Earlier this week, state officials said they would test all 2,700 employees by the end of the week.

When asked about the Legislature’s vote on Wednesday to override his veto of state budget bills, Stitt says he has moved on.

"The Legislature owns that budget," Stitt said. "I think I’m going to be proven correct that we’ve got some structural problems and we should’ve addressed them this year."

Stitt says he will work with legislators to build a new budget next year.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt released his latest COVID-19 emergency order allowing bars to reopen and lifting the ten-person limit on social gatherings on Friday.

City playgrounds and public venues are cleared to open, but the city’s two senior health and wellness centers will remain closed. Mask requirements remain in place for employees who have contact with the public at gyms, the MAPS 3 whitewater park and similar recreational facilities.


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Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
Michael Cross is the host of KOSU's Morning Edition.
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