Hartshorne councilors voted on a resolution that places restrictions on patrons of stores and businesses, establishes a curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and encourages citizens to self-isolate at home.
Councilors Jessica Hackler, Sheryl Baker, Lauren Miller, Tyson Brooks, Gary Jackson, Eddie Kelley voted yes on the measure. Councilor Paul Marean was the lone no vote. The resolution passed is effective immediately and set to expire at midnight on April 30.
"All this does is comply with what the governor has said — 'people need to stay at home,'" City Attorney Richard Lerblance said during the meeting. "This gives the city the authority to step in and say we don't need anyone loitering on the streets after 10 o'clock until 6 o'clock the next morning.
"I don't know why you would have a problem with that because this is for your good, my good, my family's good, everybody on this council's good, everybody on this council for their good," he added.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 879 confirmed positive cases and 34 deaths statewide due to COVID-19 as of Thursday. The OSDH provides daily reports around 11 a.m. on confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide.
Hartshorne’s resolution sets a curfew between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. “in which no one will be allowed on city streets or other public areas except for essential purposes as defined herein.”
The resolution orders businesses to follow social distancing policies by limiting to no more than 10 people in a facility and to keep six feet between each person.
It also bans restaurants from serving dine-in customers, and encourages citizens to isolate themselves in their homes “leaving only for essential purposes such as to secure groceries, medicine, or other activities recognized as essential under the Governor’s most recent Executive Order.”
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic; President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and Gov. Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak.
After a lack of test kits led to fewer patients being tested for COVID-19 statewide, Oklahoma now has supplies to test more than 13,000 individuals for COVID-19, according to the OSDH.
Stitt and Commissioner of Health Gary Cox also urged lesser testing requirements to offer testing to any Oklahoman with COVID-19 symptoms.
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath and most patients recover, but the disease can lead to more severe illnesses, according to the OSDH. Those developing symptoms should contact their primary care physician or call the COVID-19 Call Center at (877) 215-8336 or 211 for assistance. Uninsured potential patients can call 211 for community resources.
The governor on Wednesday extended his “Safer at Home” order to April 30 and to all 77 counties. It orders non-essential businesses to close, elective and minor surgeries suspended, and Oklahomans older than 65 and those with compromised immense systems to stay home.
Councilors also voted Thursday on updated COVID-19 Pandemic Protocol for city employees that extends the expiration to April 30.
The protocol calls for city employees to be sent home with pay for two weeks with employees being classified as on-call during the two-week period.
It states that employees called out for an emergency must follow safety precautions to prevent being infected by COVID-19.
The protocol states the City Hall front doors will remain locked at all times.
Police officers will stay on duty and take action to avoid unnecessary contact with the public, according to the protocol. Emergency calls will be made as normal, the policy states.
The protocol states the city’s clerk, treasurer and PWA Billing will work Monday, Wednesday and Friday shifts to prevent contact. The protocol states the following:
“Payments will be placed in the drop-box and received online. PWA Billing will report first to process water payments, answer any calls, and process mail. Clerk will report second to answer emails, return phone calls, and process court payments, Treasurer will report afterwards to make deposit, answer emails, and return phone calls. Front door WILL REMAIN CLOSED AT ALL TIMES.”
Nutrition Center employees will follow Feed the Need mandates and the city will pay employees for up to two weeks during a potential closure mandated by Feed the Need.
Contact Adrian O'Hanlon III at firstname.lastname@example.org