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Health Commissioner Issues Guidance on Weekend's Large-Scale Events, Gatherings

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Oklahoma health guidelines

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Commissioner Lance Frye, MD, released the following statement ahead of events in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday:

“We appreciate the President and his team of advisors for preparing temperature checks, face coverings, and hand sanitizers for Saturday’s event, and we encourage the public to closely follow all public health guidance and procedures established for the event in order to protect yourself and loved ones.

“As outlined by the CDC, individuals looking to attend Saturday’s event, or any other large-scale gathering, will face an increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and becoming a transmitter of this novel virus. In preparation for participating in large-scale events, we encourage the following public health measures to be taken to minimize risks:  

Plan in advance and seek out testing at one of the State’s 80 free testing centers across the State, or with your healthcare provider, and limit interactions with others prior to attending. Once the event has concluded, please minimize social interactions and consider being tested again in the days following. 

While attending the event, wear a cloth face covering, frequently use hand sanitizer with 60% rubbing alcohol, do not touch your face, and do your best to keep six feet of physical distance from others. 

Be considerate of volunteers who are administering temperature checks. If you are notified of having an elevated temperature, 100.4 degrees or above, please seek out options to participate through a live stream or a recording.

If you are a part of a vulnerable population group, to include being of the age 65 and older, or are immunocompromised, please stay home and seek out alternative options to enjoy the event through live streaming or a recording.

“Thanks to actions taken over the past few months, Oklahoma is in a strong position to address this virus until there is a vaccine or cure. We have led the nation in data transparency, and we continue to modernize our reporting tools in order to best equip individuals, business leaders, and elected officials with information to guide their decisions to protect public health while also reopening Oklahoma’s economy and navigating the new normalcy with the presence of COVID-19.   

“The Oklahoma State Department of Health has tripled its contact tracing team, created strike force teams across 11 regions to support and contain identified hot spot areas, and established free, accessible COVID-19 testing centers across the State. Our hospital surge plan continues to be activated, with all hospitals expanding bed capacity by 40% and TeleHealth devices deployed into rural communities to increase coordination among specialized medical experts. 

“Our continued success on minimizing the impact of COVID-19 will come from confidence with the public to engage in the Health Department’s efforts and CDC guidance. It is an earned trust and dedicated partnership the State takes very seriously.” 

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance is available here.