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The Oklahoma public health system has activated the Incident Command System and stands ready with a multitude of statewide and national partners to treat and minimize further spread. Public health officials will continue to work with health care providers and medical facilities to ensure proper assessment, testing and treatment protocols. State and local public health officials will continue to monitor travelers and any individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
Update May 29, 2020 | 2:00 PM
- Issued statewide Executive Order that:
- Provides guidelines on reopening non-essential businesses under the Open Up and Recover Safety (OURS) plan. The plan and guidance documents are available at: https://www.okcommerce.gov/covid19/ours-plan/.
- Allowed elective surgeries to resume on April 24 and April 30, depending on the type of procedure.
- Continues to enforce a “Safer at Home” order across all 77 counties, requiring those age 65 and older and individuals who are immunocompromised or have pre-existing conditions to shelter in their homes until May 15, except for those working in a critical infrastructure sector or to conduct essential errands.
- Continues to advise the public to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing by staying out of crowded places, not gathering in groups, and staying at least 6 feet away from other people.
- Prohibits visitors at nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities.
- Requires individuals to quarantine for 14 days once returning from the following states where national experts have identified significant community spread of COVID-19:
- New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana, California, Washington
- Copy of the latest executive order is here: https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/executive/1938.pdf
- Activated the Oklahoma National Guard and set up a Multi-Agency Coordination Center at the ONG Regional Training Institute where members the Governor’s Solution Task Force, members of the National Guard, and a limited number of personnel from other state agencies are working together to execute on the State’s response and recovery activities for COVID-19.
- Declared a Health Emergency to allow the governor to waive statutory or regulatory requirements as well as the ability to coordinate a cohesive statewide response among city and county health departments for COVID-19 purposes. This emergency will remain in place until the end of May.
- Requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to provide reimbursement for eligible COVID-19 response costs. The request was approved by President Trump for all 77 Oklahoma counites.
- Became recognized by national business leaders as a model for reopening safely and responsibly.
- Launched the #OKHereWeGo campaign with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department to encourage Oklahomans to travel local.
- Implemented statewide reporting requirements to collect and create transparent data of hospitals’ bed capacity, PPE supplies, and COVID-19 testing capacity. Data is published regularly on this link: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/executive-order-reports
- Expanded the State’s ability to process COVID-19 tests by tenfold, filing an executive order on March 22 to allow the labs at Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the University of Oklahoma (OU) to perform COVID-19 testing. At the time of this update, the State’s total capacity is roughly 4,600 tests a day, so long as supplies are available.
- Opened 80 drive COVID drive-thru testing locations, in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and county health departments. Details on those locations can be found here: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/drive-thru-testing.
- Entered into a public-private partnership with multiple private labs, beginning March 20, to expand the State’s capacity to deliver COVID-19 testing results. A list of those labs and their processing times can be found in the Governor’s daily COVID-19 report beginning on March 30: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/executive-order-reports
- Developed a new public-private partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Oklahoma to deploy a fleet of Caring Vans to offer COVID testing in underserved communities where transportation is a challenge. The Caring Vans provided tests at the Latino Community Development Agency in Oklahoma City.
- Oklahoma exceeded testing goal of 90,000 tests processed during the month of May.
Public Health and Health Care Providers:
- Announced a Hospital Surge Plan to ensure Oklahoma is fully prepared to handle any surge in demand on the State’s hospital and healthcare system as a result of COVID-19. More details available here.
- Transformed the State’s 2-1-1 hotline into a tool for Oklahomans to call and receive screening support for COVID-19.
- Suspended several regulations on telemedicine to ease capabilities for Oklahomans to receive medical support from a doctor without leaving home.
- Established expedited process for nurses with inactive licenses to get recertified.
- Extended licensing reciprocity for health care professionals, like doctors and nurses, who hold licenses to practice in other states.
- Suspended various regulations on truck drivers and commercial vehicles for transporting medical supplies and other critical items across state lines.
- Waived extra cost for hospitals and healthcare entities to increase broadband, made possible due to FCC waiver.
- Approved an emergency rule that provides approval of temporary emergency waivers for the employment of nurse aid trainees in employer-based nurse aide training programs.
- Filed an Executive Order to protect health care workers and their families from discrimination related to housing or childcare.
- Placed requirements on delivery personnel to submit to screening upon request before entering any hospital, long term care facility or childcare facility. This screening would likely include a temperature check and short questionnaire about possible exposure to COVID-19.
- Offered technology-based behavioral health services at the county health department level to support Oklahomans who are experiencing mental health distress. This service is through a partnership with Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services using MyCare Technology.
- Implemented relief measures for SoonerCare members and Medicaid recipients.
- Oklahoma Insurance Department requested all health insurers in OK waive copays for telehealth services during the COVID-19 health emergency.
- Implemented an online application for new and existing clients through the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program in order to minimize exposure to the COVID-19 virus. This application allows clients to provide information and answer questions used to determine potential eligibility.
- Launched the Manufacturing Reboot Program with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to address negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Oklahoma businesses, especially manufacturers. The program will provide awards from $25,000 to $150,000 depending on market potential and long-term impact of the new production capabilities on Oklahoma’s economy.
- Received approval for State of Oklahoma’s request on March 17 for disaster loans for small businesses across all 77 counties who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses and nonprofit groups can apply for up to $2 million in loans through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
- Deferred borrowers paying back SBA loans from previous disasters to December 31, 2020.
- Suspended the one-week waiting period before unemployment benefits can be paid and waved the work-search requirement and the benefit wage charge for unemployment benefits.
- Deferred state tax filing and payments until July 15 without late fees or interest
- Extended expiration dates for all occupational licenses issued by any State agency, board or commission during the Declared State of Emergency period.
- Established stronger guidelines for Child Care facilities to prevent and/or respond to a COVID-19 positive case.
- Declared a State of Emergency allowing State Agencies to access all needed resources to proactively and aggressively respond to COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of the public.
- Implemented a telework policy for state employees and banned out-of-state business travel for employees.
- Issued an emergency order to ensure first responders who work for state agencies such as correctional officers, law enforcement and fire personnel will receive guaranteed paid time off if they contract COVID-19.
Common Education – as directed by the State Superintendent, State Department of Education (SDE) Board:
- Issued an Executive Order to ensure public school support staff will continue to be paid during COVID-19.
- Closed all accredited PreK-12th grade public schools for students and educators for the remainder of the school year, as directed by the State Superintendent and SDE Board.
- Suspended academic assessments for grades 3-8 or to high school juniors and suspended Oklahoma School Report Cards for the 2019-2020 school year, as requested by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and approved by the U.S. Department of Education on March 20.
- Secured a federal waiver to provide 2 free meals a day for Oklahoma students from PreK to 12th grade through their local public schools. Announcement here.
- Waived extra cost for schools and libraries to increase bandwidth, made possible due to FCC waiver.
- Secured a federal waiver granting schools flexibility with current federal funds.
- Partnered with OETA to provide curriculum-based programming for students over the air on its broadcast channel, OETA WORLD. Programming changes to OETA WORLD will take place Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. until the end of the school year.
- Provided recommendations on sheltering from storms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Expiration on driver licenses, state issued identification cards, handicap placards, and commercial drivers licenses is delayed until June 30, 2020.
- Extended the federal government’s RealID compliance requirements on driver’s licenses into 2021. Oklahoma DPS is still currently planning to begin issuing Real ID at the end of April.
- Waived requirements for DL & learner's permits to present school enrollment verification & documentation of reading proficiency.
- Added online service to allow drivers to renew Class D licenses and state-issued identification cards online at my.ok.gov.
- Vehicle tags are still available online at www/tax.ok.gov.
- Suspension of visitations for State prison facilities and State juvenile secure-care treatment centers until further notified.
- Provided personal protective equipment to state prisons and to sheriff’s departments for county jails.
- Closed all courthouses across the state except for emergencies until May 15.
- Began reopening select driver license offices to the public on May 1 with increased precautions in accordance with Governor Stitt’s plan. Guests will need to make appointments before visiting and wear masks. Driving tests continue to be suspended, with a goal to resume on May 15. Class D Driver Licenses and State Issued Identification Cards are still available online at my.ok.gov.
- Closed all 7 State Veteran Centers for visitors. All essential staff must be checked for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the building, with all non-essential ODVA staff instructed to telework.
- Eliminated voluntary stays at the 7 State Veterans Centers. Patients who were able to come and go before will now need to stay full time to prevent spread of the virus.
- FHFA moves to provide eviction suspension relief for renters in multifamily properties.
- FHFA Directs Enterprises to Grant Flexibilities for Appraisal and Employment Verifications
- FHFA Moves to Provide Eviction Suspension Relief for Renters in Multifamily Properties
- Effective March 25, 2020 - OHFA has resumed making loans for its Down Payment Assistance programs with both the Gold & Dream products.
- Launched a state-federal partnership, between Attorney General Mike Hunter and U.S. District Attorney Tim Downing, to investigate and prosecute con artists attempting to defraud Oklahomans during the COVID-19 emergency. Reports of fraud or price gouging can be made by contacting the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit by calling 405-521-2029 or [email protected].
- Put into statewide effective State’s price gouging statue, pursuant to action taken by the State Attorney General Mike Hunter
- Activated consumer alert on at-home coronavirus testing, action taken by the State Attorney General Mike Hunter that reminds Oklahomans to be on high alert for scam artists trying to sell or administer home-testing kits for COVID-19.
- Issued a warning about potential fraud to Oklahomans awaiting their economic impact payments from the federal government.
- Provided resources for individuals and employers dealing with fraudulent unemployment claims by emailing[email protected]. Individuals are also encouraged to submit a new form and submit it to the Attorney General’s Office so the claim can be investigated by law enforcement. The form is available online and should be emailed to [email protected].
- Coordinated recruitment of volunteers for the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps to serve in medical and non-medical positions to supplement hospital personnel, assisting with transporting patients, and providing support in the field.
- Launched “Ready. Help. Go.” Volunteer readiness program to connect Oklahomans to volunteer opportunities in their communities that may be available at a later date.
- Brought together state employees from numerous state agencies and the Oklahoma National Guard to help with volunteer activities at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
- Began issuing emergency relief payments to foster parents in early April to support foster families as they navigate the impact of unexpected expenses brought by school closures.
- Secured federal approval to issue emergency allotments to SNAP households.