Bill Coleman

Coleman

We had exciting news out of the Capitol this week from Gov. Stitt. Oklahomans have listened and heeded the health warnings and guidelines, and the state has successfully begun flattening the curve for COVID-19 cases. For this reason, with guidance from the White House, health data and input from healthcare providers in the state, Oklahoma’s economy will be reopened in three phases beginning this Friday, April 24.

Please be mindful that COVID-19 is still out there so it’s imperative that everyone continue practicing social distancing and good hygiene. The decision to reopen cities is up to local mayors. Oklahoma City, for instance, has too many cases so Mayor Holt has chosen to stick with the original plan of reopening beginning May 1.

Regardless of where you live, we must all remain cautious in the next month especially those over 65 or who have compromised immune systems. The governor has asked that people still try to avoid large groups and places where there isn’t enough space to practice social distancing and avoid nonessential travel.

The first phase is to help get thousands of Oklahomans back to work if it’s allowed and they so choose. Exceptions must be provided for vulnerable employees as to not put their health in danger. On Friday, personal care businesses (like hair and nail salons, barbershops, spas and pet groomers) may open under certain restrictions. Visits must be by appointment only with customers waiting in their cars until their scheduled time. Waiting rooms must remain empty and social distancing must be maintained.

Beginning on May 1, restaurants, workout facilities, sporting venues and movie theaters will be able to reopen around the state but again we must continue our social distancing and hygiene precautions.

Certain elective surgeries are able to begin on April 24, and all minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures can resume on May 1.

Work is also continuing in the legislature as we began the first phase of approving executive nominations this week. I was proud to carry the nomination of Terrence Shreve of Barnsdall to the Oklahoma Used Motor Vehicle and Parts Commission, to serve a six-year term ending June 30, 2026, succeeding James Holman.

You can stay up to date on what’s happening in the Senate by visiting www.oksenate.gov.

You can contact me by calling (405) 521-5581 or emailing Bill.Coleman@oksenate.gov.

Follow me on Twitter @SkiatookJournal.

E-mail lindsey.chastain@skiatookjournal.com

Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.