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Bynum Says Tulsa May Be Reopening, But Restrictions Will Persist

Matt Trotter

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said Wednesday while the city will follow the state’s business reopening plan starting Friday, things are not going right back to normal.

Bynum said businesses that plan to reopen should get well-acquainted with state guidelines for their specific industries. Restaurant dining rooms, gyms and places of worship are among the establishments that can reopen Friday under certain restrictions.

Bynum said the guidelines are not merely helpful tips and will be enforced by the Tulsa Police Department.

"If there is a business that is flagrantly violating those guidelines and causes an outbreak, we reserve the ability working with the health department to declare that business a health nuisance and shut it down entirely," Bynum said.

Bynum said he is listening to health experts, who say the coronavirus will continue to be a problem until a vaccine is widely available in 12 to 18 months at best. That means restrictions on events and social gatherings will continue.

"Business operations as approved by the state are not  social gatherings, but other social gatherings — as hopefully most of us can recognize by this point what that entails — are limited to 10 people or less," Bynum said.

Tulsa will continue to prohibit social gatherings of more than 10 people and the city will not issue event permits until at least May 15. City playgrounds, rec centers, pools, splash pads and day camps will remain closed indefinitely.

The city will reopen sport courts, golf courses and other amenities where users can practice physical distancing on Friday.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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