OKDHS office visits 'by appointment only' in response to coronavirus
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Effective Friday, March 20, 2020, all office visits to Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) will be 'by appointment only.' If customers cannot be served online or have difficulty with online service, they can call (405) 522-5050 for assistance or to schedule an appointment. During the appointment process, the call center team will work to solve the customer's needs using all of the tools available to them first.
"Agency leadership has been wrestling with a series of critical decisions over the last few days," said Justin Brown, OKDHS director. "Many of these decisions balance the agency's intense desire to care for the most vulnerable in our communities with minimizing health risks to our committed workforce."
"The Centers for Disease Control and Oklahoma State Department of Health guidance include social distancing as the best things we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19," said Brown.
"Limiting contact with others can be challenging in human services work, but it is not impossible. Because so many Oklahomans rely on the critical services we provide, we are constantly readjusting the balance between reducing the number of staff in any one location and meeting critical needs in each community. This helps ensure that we are where we need to be, doing what we need to do, to best be of service to Oklahomans during this ever-changing situation."
OKDHS offices have had an average of 2,000 visits per day this week. Of those, the agency estimates a vast majority could have been solved by online resources or via telephone.
"OKDHS recognizes that we have a real opportunity to play our part in flattening the curve and to serve our communities at the same time. I personally appreciate our staff's commitment to those we serve. We ask for the public's patience as we transition to this new process."
OKDHS will continue to monitor this evolving situation, and we anticipate that we will provide further official guidance over the coming days and weeks.