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Governor Kevin Stitt joined Commissioner of Health Lance Frye to announce Seventh Amended Executive Order 2020-20, which increases safety measures for restaurants, bars and state employees in Oklahoma to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Throughout the entire battle against COVID-19, my first priority has been to protect the health and lives of Oklahomans,” said Governor Stitt.
“Two other things are also very important to me. We’re going to keep businesses open safely and we’re going to work to get all kids back in school safely by the end of Christmas Break. However, it’s going to take everyone working together to meet these goals.”
The new action items under Seventh Amended EO 2020-20 include:
• Starting Thursday, November 19, all restaurants will be required to space tables at least six feet apart, unless tables, booths and bar areas are separated by sanitized dividers.
• Starting Thursday, November 19, all bars and restaurants will be required to close by 11 p.m. No in-person service of food or alcohol will be allowed after 11 p.m. except for restaurant drive-thru windows or curbside pickup.
• Starting Tuesday, November 17, all 33,000 state employees under the executive branch will be required to wear a mask in common areas or when they’re around other people. All visitors to state agency buildings will also be required to wear a mask. (The Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Senate also announced masks will be required for employees and visitors at the State Capitol.)
“These aren’t our first actions, and they won’t be our last,” continued Governor Stitt. “Based on the data in our state – specifically the rise in hospitalizations – now is the time to do more. Each one of us has a role to play in this fight. I need every Oklahoman to think about what they can do to slow the spread.”
The Oklahoma Restaurant Association expressed the industry’s support of the new action items announced today by the governor.
“We appreciate the leadership of Governor Stitt during these challenging times and the efforts being made to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“The Oklahoma Restaurant Association and its members want to do our part and at the same time allow our industry to operate safely to protect the health of our employees and customers. We are all in this together and our industry is ready to do its part,” said President and CEO Jim Hopper and Chairman Kurt Fleischfresser in a joint statement.
The Governor and Dr. Frye also stressed the importance for Oklahomans to continue to take precautions seriously ahead of the holiday season.
“The governor and I have said countless times to wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands, and it is critical that you do,” said Dr.Frye.
“As we look ahead to Thanksgiving, please don’t forget to practice these safety measures. Small things can make a difference, and Oklahomans are encouraged to be mindful of how you gather this holiday season to ensure the safety of your loved ones and neighbors.”
Governor Stitt also reiterated his call for all Oklahomans to do the right thing and wear a mask, watch their distance from others and wash their hands frequently.