Thursday, March 26, 2020

Non-essential Businesses to Close Temporarily at Midnight Countywide Due to COVID-19

The Oklahoma State Department of Health confirmed Thursday that a Sallisaw resident has tested positive for the virus, the first such case in Sequoyah County. The patient is in quarantine at their residence.

In a statement issued Thursday, the City of Sallisaw announced that all non-essential businesses in the city must be closed effective at 11:59 p.m. today. Guidance on determining whether a business is considered essential or non-essential, may be found at under the “COVID-19 Resources” tab.

City Manager Keith Skelton said, “We cannot emphasize enough the fact that every citizen has a personal responsibility, to themselves, their family, and our community, to do their part to help slow the spread of this terrible disease. Sallisaw is a community comprised of hard-working, unwavering individuals who share a genuine love and concern for their neighbor. Together, we will work through the effects of this pandemic. There is no doubt we will come out stronger on the other side, with an even bigger love for our community.” 

The ever-increasing number of cases prompted Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Wednesday to order all non-essential business in counties affected by COVID-19 to close until April 14. Stitt said that as COVID-19 cases spread to other counties around the state, those counties will then be included in the order. With Sequoyah County now having a confirmed case, this order will go into effect for the entire county at midnight on Thursday.

Non-essential businesses are considered places with a “social gathering” aspect, such as bars, gyms and massage parlors.

Stitt said restaurants are being asked to remain open by offering takeout and delivery options, but not dine-in areas.

At the same time, Stitt issued a “safer-at-home” order asking all vulnerable populations across the state to stay at home and only go out in public for the essentials until April 30. This includes adults over age 65 and vulnerable individuals with serious underlying medical conditions.

Stitt also issued a 14-day suspension of all elective surgeries, minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures to protect the state’s supply of personal protective equipment for medical workers. Visitation is also being suspended at all long-term care facilities until further notice.

State officials urge Oklahomans to stay away from sick patients and to frequently wash their hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and practice social distancing.

The virus is mainly spread from person to person, and symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure. The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath.

If you do become sick, you are asked to stay away from others. If you have been in an area where the coronavirus is known to be spreading or been around a COVID-19 patient and develop symptoms, you are asked to call your doctor ahead of time and warn them that you might have been exposed to the virus. That way, experts say, they have the ability to take extra precautions to protect staff and other patients.

As of Thursday morning, there have been 248 positive test results in the state, including the first for LeFlore County. 

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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1 comment:

  1. Was the person that tested positive working somewhere? If so where at? Is the department of health going to notify people that may have been around this person?


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