Steve Murdock

Edmond city attorney Steve Murdock relays information to city council members during a meeting Wednesday morning about Gov. Kevin Stitt's declaration from Tuesday.

EDMOND, Okla. — The City Council voted 5-0 on Wednesday to update the emergency declaration approved by the city council last week. The meeting was set following Gov. Kevin Stitt’s statewide emergency declaration on Tuesday.

The city’s overriding goal is to continue to provide services while minimizing coronavirus exposure to the public and it’s employees, said Larry Stevens, city manager. “I have to stress that everything we are looking at is subject to constant evaluation.”

Restrooms in city parks were closed Wednesday. However the playgrounds remain open, and the city is sanitizing playground equipment as long as materials are available.

The tennis center is open just for outdoor courts, Stevens said. KickingBird Golf Course also remains open with social distancing.

“If you have four people playing, two people can ride and two people will walk,” Stevens said.

The city is receiving “tons of email” about essential and non-essential businesses. For the city to streamline its response, Stevens asks the public to call his office at 405-359-4500.

Arcadia Lake remains open with boats still permitted on the lake. Assistant City Manager Steve Commons has received reports that people at the fishing dock are not always practicing social distancing of six feet apart.

“We will enforce that or close the dock,” Commons said. “People have to understand we’re serious about this.”

The City of Oklahoma City had not posted any updates to its emergency declaration at the time of the Edmond City Council’s emergency meeting. Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said the city would issue a proclamation complementing the state mandate. City Attorney Steve Murdock expects cities to adopt Gov. Stitt’s declaration with no exception by the City of Edmond.

“He issued some things, some directives regarding adults over the age of 65, and people of any age that have serious underlying medical conditions,” Murdock said.

These vulnerable individuals shall stay in their homes or place or residence instead of working in a critical infrastructure sector, Murdock said of the state’s declaration.  These individuals are allowed to conduct essential errands, Murdock said, including obtaining medication, groceries, gasoline, and visiting medical providers.

“The vulnerable population is encouraged to use delivery or curbside services whenever available,” Murdock said.

Social gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited statewide. Businesses must take reasonable steps to protect their employees, workers and patrons, Murdock said. 

No restrictions have been placed on restaurants providing curbside services, pick-up or delivery, Murdock said. Visitors are prohibited from visiting patients at nursing homes, retirement homes, or long-term care facilities.

Any subsequent or previous executive orders or memorandums issued by the governor that modify the city’s declaration are to be adopted by the City of Edmond, Murdock said.

“Those will be incorporated as the governor makes those changes,” Murdock said.

Mayor Dan O’Neil pointed out that the City of New York City has more than 3,000 persons hospitalized with the virus.

“That’s really scary and that happened within a short period of time. I understand how their medical facilities and medical resources are being overwhelmed — how desperate things are that might be in that area. So keep those folks in your prayers.”

New limitations set to combat

community spread of COVID-19

The Edmond City Council adopted an amended Declaration of Emergency related to community spread of COVID-19 that has been signed into effect by Mayor Dan O’Neil, states a press release from the City of Edmond. This amended Declaration of Emergency is subject to further change by the City Council at future scheduled, special or emergency meetings.

The Declaration of Emergency institutes new community measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in Edmond. The changes are the result of new restrictions placed upon counties with positive cases of COVID-19 by Governor Kevin Stitt in his “Safer at Home” Executive Order. 

Upon signing of the amended Declaration of Emergency:

• Adults over the age of 65 and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, collectively referred to as "vulnerable individuals,” shall stay in their home or place of residence except for working in a critical infrastructure sector, as more particularly described herein, and the conduct of essential errands. Essential errands shall mean those errands which are critical to everyday life and includes obtaining medication, groceries, gasoline, and visiting medical providers. The vulnerable population is encouraged to use delivery and/or curbside services whenever available.

• Residents of Edmond and medical providers in Edmond shall postpone all elective surgeries, minor medical procedures, and non-emergency dental procedures until April 7, 2020.

• Social gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Businesses within a critical infrastructure sector, as more particularly described herein, shall take all reasonable steps necessary to comply with this Declaration and protect their employees, workers and patrons.

• Effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 25, 2020, all businesses not identified as being within a critical infrastructure sector as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and located in the City of Edmond, which is experiencing community spread of COVID-19, as identified by OSDH on its website, shall close. Additional sectors may be designated by Executive Order or Memorandum from the Governor. Nothing in this provision shall prevent restaurants and bars from providing pick-up, curbside, and delivery. This shall be effective until April 16, 2020.

• Visitors are prohibited from entering and visiting patients and residents at nursing homes, long term care facilities, and retirement homes.

• Pursuant to the Governor's Executive Memorandum (Executive Department Executive Memorandum 2020-01) of March 24, 2020, which provides that in addition to those critical infrastructure sectors identified by USDHS at https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce, the following are added:

HEALTHCARE/PUBLIC HEALTH

• Health care providers (e.g. physicians, dentists, psychologist, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, social workers, speech pathologists and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists).

• Manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, and distributors of personal care/hygiene products.

• Behavioral health workers (including mental and substance use disorder) responsible for coordination, outreach, engagement, and treatment to individuals in need of mental health and/or substance use disorder services.

• Workers who provide support to vulnerable populations to ensure their health and well-being including family care providers including: Medical marijuana dispensaries; and workers supporting veterinary hospitals and clinics.

LAW ENFORCEMENT, PUBLIC SAFETY, FIRST RESPONDERS

• Including frontline and management, personnel including emergency management, law enforcement, Emergency Management Systems, fire, and corrections, search and rescue, tactical teams including maritime, aviation and canine units.

• Workers at Public Safety Answering Points.

• Fire mitigation activities.

• Private Security, private fire departments, and private emergency medical services personnel.

• State and County workers responding to abuse and neglect of children, elders and dependent adults.

• Animal control officers.

OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED GOVERNMENT

OPERATIONS AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

• Faith-based services that are provided through streaming or other technology. Critical government workers, as defined by the employer and consistent with Continuity of Operations Plans and Continuity of Government plans.

• Workers supporting public and private childcare establishments, pre-K establishments, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities for purposes of distance learning, provision of school meals, or care and supervision of minors to support essential workforce across all sectors.

• The City Manager is directed to not discontinue water and utility services for customers unable to pay their bills for a period of 30 days from March 18, 2020.

• All users of Citylink must maintain a distance of at least three feet from other users when possible.

It is anticipated that Edmond residents will voluntarily comply with the regulations that have been put into place. In the event that there is concern of non-compliance in Edmond, please contact the City of Edmond Community Image Department at 405-359-4793.

Casey Moore, director of marketing and public relations for the City, said, “Late afternoon on Wednesday, March 25, Governor Kevin Stitt issued an Amended Executive Memorandum to further define ‘Essential Business.’ Our local Declaration of Emergency below has been updated to reflect these changes. The list of all work deemed essential can be found at https://criticalworker.ok.gov.”

For the latest information on local regulations, building closures, additional cancellations and access to resources from our health partners, please check local media and visit http://edmondok.com/coronavirus.

Coburn is a police, government and general assignment reporter for The Edmond Sun. Send an email to James at jcoburn@edmondsun.com or call 405-341-2121.

Reporter

Coburn is a police, government and general assignment reporter for The Edmond Sun. Send an email to James at jcoburn@edmondsun.com.

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