In light of record breaking numbers of new cases of COVID-19 in the city of Norman, Mayor Breea Clark will sign a Proclamation announcing new restrictions that will go into effect on Monday, November 30. The intent of these restrictions is to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and support our first responders and healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly on the front lines to care for residents. The three-day rolling average of new cases reached its highest point ever on November 23 with 125 cases per day, and the seven-day rolling average of new cases reached its highest point ever a day later on November 24 with 93.9 new cases per day. The order will reduce capacity of restaurants, bars and fitness center facilities, limit the size of organized gatherings, and require safety protocol for organized indoor sporting events.
“We are asking our healthcare professionals and first responders to work shift after shift as all of our numbers are skyrocketing. They are emotionally and physically exhausted, and it’s past time to take action and show them they’re not alone in the fight against COVID-19,” said Mayor Clark. “The initial Stay at Home Order was issued back in March after we saw one death in our community. We have now seen 70; our friends, our neighbors, our veterans, our educators. The path we are currently on has proven gravely unsuccessful, and it’s time to change course.”
The new restrictions include:
- The capacity of all restaurants, bars and fitness center facilities, as set by the Fire Department, shall be reduced by 50%;
- Organized gatherings shall be limited in size to no more than 50 people and shall be conducted at all times in compliance with Sections 10-1102 and 10-1103 of the City Code related to facial coverings;
- Organized indoor sports shall only be conducted in accordance with the following protocol:
- Take temperatures of each person prior to entry of the facility;
- Spectator limit of one person per athlete;
- All coaches, game officials, staff, and spectators to wear a mask at all times;
- Require athletes to wear a mask when not actively participating in the game or practice;
- Close all concession areas;
- Eliminate interaction with the opposing team(s) prior to and after each game; and
- Eliminate award ceremonies at the event.
“With the marked increase in COVID case counts over the past three weeks and the surge of hospital admissions, there is a need to move from strategies that rely on “containment,” such as contact tracing and isolation, to “mitigation strategies” that force social distancing and compliance with mask ordinances,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, the University of Oklahoma’s Chief COVID Officer. “Until we have a broadly distributed vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the risk of virus transmission in places where there are large indoor gatherings, including parties, conferences, religious events and sporting events, and in settings where patrons routinely remove their masks, such as restaurants and bars, remains high.”
To learn more about the proclamation and see frequently asked questions, visit the City’s coronavirus update website at coronavirus.normanok.gov.