Politics

Oklahoma To End COVID-19 Restrictions, GOP Governor Kevin Stitt Says

Yet another state has lifted it’s COVID-19 restrictions, as Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R) announced on Thursday that he is preparing to issue an executive order that will end the mask requirement for state buildings and lift coronavirus restrictions from events.

Stitt was joined on Thursday by Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye and Secretary of Health and Mental Health Kevin Corbett as he announced his decision to “get our summer back.”

“Because of the progress we have made, I will be issuing a new executive order tomorrow,” the Republican governor said. “There will be no statewide restrictions on events or Oklahomans. I’m also removing the requirements to wear a mask in state buildings.”

“More Oklahomans are getting vaccines each day, and the CDC’s new guidelines mean wearing a mask should be a personal decision based on your circumstances,” Stitt added, going on to say that it’s still important that the people of Oklahoma use “personal responsibility” in continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19. He also said that people should still wear face masks if they feel more comfortable doing that.

The standard for normal cannot be zero cases,” Stitt said. “In Oklahoma, the standard for normal is freedom. The freedom to worship, the freedom to go to work and earn a paycheck, the freedom to visit your loved ones in nursing homes, the freedom to send your kids to school in person, and the freedom to protect your family however you see fit. As long as I’m governor, I will protect the freedoms of Oklahomans.’

Stitt also talked about the drop in number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma over the past few months.

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“Oklahoma has been fully reopened since last June,” he said. “We are watching these cases. You just saw the graphs. The numbers are lower today than they were last summer on a 7-day average before some of the municipalities put in more restrictions.”

“We look at hospitalizations very closely,” Stitt added. “That was the whole goal when we thought about flattening the curve, 15 days to flatten the curve last spring. Now we have less than 300 people in the hospitals statewide. We want to get our summer back. But also at the same time, we are telling Oklahomans to take personal responsibility, continue to be vigilant. I think Oklahomans will do the right thing.”

This comes days after Texas reopened, a decision that was praised by Stitt, who reminded the people of his state that he never actually issued an official mask mandate.

“Despite constant criticism from the media and the left, I never once entertained a mask mandate here in Oklahoma,” Stitt said. “I always trusted Oklahomans to do the right thing and keep each other safe. And they have.”

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