Governor Kevin State announced Plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions on Friday across the state. While the news is welcome to some, local health professionals are not ready to decide.
State and the Oklahoma State Department of Health both said the numbers show the state is prepared to leave the pandemic in the past.
State said: “This virus will never completely disappear. It will be in Oklahoma for a while, but we can return to normal.”
He made that announcement exactly one year after the day COVID-19 shut down Oklahoma City Thunder and the rest of the state.
Starting Friday, social gatherings and youth sporting events will no longer have to adhere to capacity limits.
“I’m also removing the requirement to wear a mask on state buildings,” State said.
Officials said the decrease in the number of cases and the high rates of vaccination were influencing the decision.
“Most of our teachers got at least one vaccine. Our children are back in the classroom. All residents and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities had a vaccine option. This means that our most vulnerable populations are now protected,” State said.
Despite the state’s declining COVID numbers, the president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association said it’s too early for you to let your guard down.
Dr. George Monks, Oklahoma said: “Look, we have the virus on the ropes, we are winning these fights, and we have the momentum, but we cannot back down from this virus and let it regain its strength.” President of the Governmental Doctors Syndicate. “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing. Do what we know is helpful, get vaccinated and go on at 3 W.”
Monks warn there is no mask, especially indoors. This upcoming spring break celebrations could lead to numbers going up as well.
“The areas that this Covid virus likes to spread are closed areas where people are kind of crowded,” Monks said. “We’ve seen a spike in COVID every time after a big vacation, especially in young adults, and that’s another thing we’re concerned about.”
Although the restrictions have been lifted statewide, any state for the city remains in effect.