Heart of Oklahoma Announces Comprehensive Reopening Strategy Ahead of May Events

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

The Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center today announced its all-inclusive reopening plan, which is a blueprint of best practices, policies, and procedures the venue has put in place prior to welcoming back crowds in May.

The “Together AGAIN!” custom reopening strategy was created using industry standards and recommendations; directives from local, state, and federal governments; guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health departments; and Spectra’s leaders and subject matter experts. In accordance with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s “Open Up and Recover Safely” Plan, the Expo’s first scheduled event to return will be during Phase 2.

Below is a summary of the key elements of the plan:

Social Distancing

Signage will be posted throughout the venue reminding patrons to socially distance by 6 feet and observe best hygiene practices

Events will have predetermined attendance and participation limits, as well as limited area capacities

All cue areas will be marked on the ground, either by tape or paint, for patrons to stand 6 feet apart while in line

Floor seating and chairs will be set based on social distancing guidelines. Bleacher seating will have areas taped off as “unavailable”

Enclosed dining areas will remain closed at this time for general dining

Attendees and participants, including riders and livestock handlers, will not be allowed to congregate or gather, and must maintain 6 feet of space between each other at all times

Cleaning and Sanitization

Contracted sanitation crew will conduct regular cleaning to supplement routine cleaning.

Hand sanitizer stations and hand pumps will be available throughout venue, especially in high-touch areas

Frequent cleaning and sanitization in all high-touch areas and restrooms with COVID-19 approved products

Cleaning logs will be maintained documenting cleaning and disinfecting procedures

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All employees will be required to wear face masks

Employees will be required to wear gloves for cleaning, handling and serving food, and dealing with all first aid incidents. Gloves will be available for all employees

Masks will not be required by all attendees but will be strongly encouraged


Foot pulls have been installed on exhibit building restrooms

Weather permitting, additional overhead doors will remain open for more entry and exit points to avoid crowding in lobby entrances

Lobby entryways for Otto Krausse and Fred Humphrey buildings will be designated with “Entrance Only” and “Exit Only” doors

“We approached the reopening strategy through the lens of our guests, thinking about their full experience from the time they arrive at the Expo to when they pull out of the parking lot to head home,” Erin Stevens, General Manager at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center, said. “We want our guests and our employees alike to know that every precautionary measure we’ve implemented is to ensure their health and safety while they are at the Expo Center. We want our guests to have an enjoyable, straightforward, familiar—and above all, safe—experience.”

The Expo Center will continue to provide updates via our social media page on Facebook, our website ShawneeExpo.org or by calling the office at 405-275-7020.