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U.S. House panel says Gov. Stitt ignored White House guidance to stop coronavirus spread

U.S. House panel says Gov. Stitt ignored White House guidance to stop coronavirus spread

James Clyburn and Kevin Stitt

Rep. James Clyburn, D-South Carolina (left), and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt

OKLAHOMA CITY — The leader of a U.S. House subcommittee said Wednesday that Gov. Kevin Stitt ignored recommendations from the White House coronavirus task force to stop the spread of the virus and asked him to produce documents about guidance his administration received.

Rep. James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, chairman of the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, said in a letter to Stitt that the White House Coronavirus Task Force “has apparently provided Oklahoma with private suggestions concerning public health measures designed to stop the spread of the virus, the state has not implemented many of these recommendations — and instead appears to be following the contradictory public messaging coming from the Administration.”

Clyburn’s letter says a report prepared for the White House task force, dated July 26, “provides a dire assessment of the situation in Oklahoma, stating: Oklahoma is in the red zone for cases, indicating more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week, and the red zone for test positivity, indicating a rate above 10%. Over the past week, Oklahoma continues to have high number of cases diagnosed and high test percent positivity. … More counties and CBSAs [core-based statistical areas] are in the red zone this week.”

According to Clyburn, Oklahoma is not in compliance with five recommendations from the task force, including: limits on large gatherings to 10 people or fewer in red zones and 25 people or fewer in yellow zones; the closure of bars; the reduction of indoor dining to 25% of restaurant capacity; the closure or capacity limits on gyms; and mask requirements for businesses in red and yellow zones.

Click here to link to the article at The Oklahoman. Some stories require a subscription to read.

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