Daycare closures and occupancy limits for some businesses are among the recommendations to be considered by the Bartlesville City Council during a videoconference meeting set to start at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 6.
The recommendations, compiled by City staff based on a discussion held during the
Covid-19 Emergency Advisory Board's
first meeting on March 31, is in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 50,000 people worldwide, including 34 in Oklahoma.
With the rate of infections — and deaths — expected to rise dramatically over the next several weeks, additional measures are needed across the U.S. to reduce the death toll and the number of critically ill citizens in an effort to not overwhelm the health care system.
Bartlesville Mayor Dale Copeland took the first step in that process yesterday by extending the State of Emergency, which was originally proclaimed on March 23. In an emergency meeting held that day, the council followed the proclamation by passing City Ordinance No. 3525, which resulted in the closure of some businesses, limited restaurants to curb-side or delivery service, suspended several City functions such as Municipal Court and park shelter rentals, and closed most City-owned facilities to public access.
"My original proclamation of emergency was issued with the sincere hope that it would prove adequate for this crisis," Copeland said. "Reports in recent days have dashed that hope as we continue to see daily increases in the number of Covid-19 cases reported. With an abundance of caution and a desire to protect our community I am extending the proclamation to May 4, 2020. It is my sincere prayer that our community may see the decline and end of this virulent infection during that time."
An executive order issued by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt further restricted businesses across the state and included a "Safer in Place" order for people over 65, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying medical conditions that put them more at risk for critical illness, requiring them to remain at home except when obtaining food, medication, gasoline or medical care.
Recommendations to be considered by the City Council on Monday include:
- Close all daycare and childcare facilities
- Close Adams Golf Course
- Ban garage sales, estate sales and auctions unless otherwise authorized by law
- Limit City meetings to teleconference or videoconference when possible
- Adopt language pertaining to the "Safer in Place" order for vulnerable populations as set forth by Gov. Kevin Stitt's executive order
The CAB recommendations also include
taking actions to decrease crowding and improve social distancing in retail stores. Actions the council will be asked to consider Monday include:
- Restrict minors under 16 from entering retail stores as a customer
- Allow only one member of a family or household to enter a store at one time
- Make social distancing mandatory for retail operation employees where applicable
- Make use of Personal Protective Equipment mandatory for retail operation employees where applicable
- Require use of a physical barrier, such as a sneeze guard, to separate cashiers from customers
- Use the "Lawton Model" to reduce customer capacity for retail stores (total square footage divided by 500)