COVID-19: Tulsa Metropolis Council provides tooth to masks and distances native information necessities

Bruce Dart, director of the Tulsa Department of Health, said the department is limited by the number of safety plans it can review. Data shows good results when events follow approved security plans, and Dart said requiring security plans for events below 150 would have “even greater success” in slowing virus transmission.

However, lowering that number is reaching the limits of the existing health department, Dart said.

“It’s a good point, but our ability to manage all of these plans on top of everything we’re doing now is going to be a real challenge,” said Dart. “It’s going to be difficult for us to do that. … We are really busy with our current 500 number and I’ll have to add staff if we bring it down to 150.

“We only have a certain bandwidth. Everyone here already does more than one job. “

City councils approved a grandfather clause over the next few days for events that did not require a safety plan prior to Tuesday night’s vote, though Dart said the department will do everything it can to evaluate the plans submitted for those events.

City councils also passed a local ordinance with a language that reflects Governor Kevin Stitt’s recent order on social distancing requirements for restaurants and bars.

However, the nationwide order stipulates that these companies must close by 11 p.m., with the exception of delivery and transit windows. City council chairman Ben Kimbro said he believed the 11pm rule singled out bars and restaurants, a sentiment that has been endorsed by other councilors. The state order continues to be enforced in Tulsa, but the city’s ordinance does not include a requirement to close at 11pm. If the state ordinance expires before the ordinance expires on the city, the city will not impose such restriction.

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