Good Morning Members:

I've received a lot of calls and emails regarding the email sent out yesterday so I wanted to reach out with some clarification. Let me start by saying there is nothing in black and white that says architecture, engineering and construction is essential. The Governor's Office continues to be extremely vague and continues to refer us to the CISA website.

What I've been told is that the Governor is pro-business and doesn't want to shut businesses down BUT he wants people to stay home. The goal is for everyone to stay home so we can flatten the curve as soon as possible. They want people off the streets so the recommendation is to work remotely to keep your business up and running.

The Construction Industries Coalition sent a letter, that we signed onto, on Monday asking that construction, architecture and engineering be listed as an essential business. We are also working on our own letter. In addition, for those that are interested, the Governor's office has launched a new form where companies can apply to be considered essential. That information is below.

We are continuing to push to get clarification on this and will continue keep the membership updated but in the meantime we recommend that your employees work remotely if possible.

Sincerely,

Melissa Hunt, Hon. AIA
Executive Director

From the Governor's Office:
We have launched a new form for you to apply to be considered an essential business. We understand that many of our job creators and industries play an important role in serving Oklahomans as we respond to  #COVID19 . If you believe your business is essential, please visit:  criticalworker.ok.gov
Email sent on Tuesday, March 24th.
Gov. Stitt orders all non-essential businesses to close in counties affected by COVID-19
This order goes into affect tomorrow at midnight and is in place for 21 days (until April 14). So what does this mean for architecture firms?
We believe architecture is an essential business.

Gov. Stitt’s office tweeted this link 40 mins ago.
 
 
The list in the link identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others. The industries they support represent, but are not necessarily limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works. 
 
As a reminder, here is the White House's 15 Days to Stop the Spread Recommendation which encourages workers to work from home when possible.