The State and Tulsa Health Departments have confirmed three residents in Tulsa County have tested positive with Coronavirus-COVID-19 from travel – one has already recovered. As with the flu, the COVID-19 virus is spread from person-to-person contact. With confirmed cases in Tulsa and the weekend announcement of community spread in Oklahoma, we need to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions by following basic health tips on hand washing and social distancing. Though most recover from this illness, COVID-19 is more severe in elderly populations and in those with underlying medical conditions.
Today, Mayor Bynum issued a civil emergency declaration, which gives officials the authority to move expeditiously from a policy and purchasing perspective during the COVID-19 threat. Mayor Bynum also updated his executive order from Saturday and is limiting gatherings at all City-led and City-owned facilities to 50 people based on the latest CDC guidelines.
Mayor Bynum also announced TMUA (Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority) and the Water & Sewer Dept. are issuing a water cutoff moratorium, which means the City will not perform any new water meter shutoffs. The City is making every effort to make continued water service available to citizens, as well as restore service to those citizens currently without water. To do this, citizens should contact 311 to communicate a request to restore water service or confirm water service is still needed at a location.
All major attractions in Tulsa County have agreed to close indefinitely. Attractions include; Philbrook, Gilcrease Museum, Discovery Lab, Tulsa Zoo, Oklahoma Aquarium, Gathering Place, River Parks, Botanical Gardens, Historical Society, AHHA Tulsa, Woody Guthrie Museum, and Tulsa Garden Center. Open space at River Parks and Gathering Place will stay open.
The City has received questions from businesses asking what they should do during this threat. At this time, the City is urging all businesses to take the CDC’s recommendation of keeping gatherings below 50 people at a time. Mayor Bynum has requested a vote of the Board of Health on restaurant operations during the COVID-19 pandemic event. Dr. Dart advised this would be forthcoming.
City of Tulsa – Mayor Bynum has issued an employee hiring and travel freeze. The City has initiated a work from home policy, extending to employees who have the ability to do their jobs remotely. The City has also been working closely with City Medical on employee protocols. City employees who get exposed to COVID-19 will are covered by worker’s compensation. Employees working remotely will continue to be paid as usual, as well as those who miss work due to exposure and quarantine, as covered by Mayor Bynum’s emergency revision that expands Hazardous Conditions Pay.
At this time, three City employees have entered the COVID-19 testing protocol and are quarantined at home after possible exposure. Current impacted employees are from the Tulsa Fire Department, Tulsa Police Department and the Water and Sewer Department. The City is working to ensure those employees’ working environments are being properly cleaned and sanitized. The health of every employee is being constantly monitored, and employees who exhibit any symptoms of a respiratory illness are being sent home.
To help better limit the spread of COVID-19 in municipal courts, access is now limited to defendants, attorneys, interpreters, family members/friends who are there to interpret, and others requiring court access by necessity or law. For those who want to pay tickets, utilities and get permitting, the City is encouraging the use of its E-Services, which can be accessed at www.cityoftulsa.org/residents/payments-and-e-services/
Basic Health Tips
Some longstanding basic health tips can go a long way in helping prevent COVID-19 transmission. Note that face masks and gloves are to be saved for health care professionals and are not for use by the general public.
- Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds. Though handwashing is best, you can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or greater).
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with bleach-based or alcohol-based cleaning products.
- In meeting settings, avoid shaking hands, do not meet in large groups, and keep a 6 ft. radius between you and the person you are talking to.
- Stay home if you have a fever of 100° F [37° C] or greater and have signs of a respiratory illness.
- Those with mild cases of respiratory illnesses should remain at home and practice self-care.
- It’s recommended you treat fevers, muscle aches and cough with over the counter medications.
- You can schedule an appointment with your healthcare professional if respiratory symptoms worsen and you have impaired breathing.
- If you have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread and you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call the Tulsa Health Department 918-582-WELL (9355) or your health care provider for recommendations.
For more information, visit: www.tulsa-health.org/COVID19