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Stitt Announces Withdrawal Of COVID Emergency Order

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced late Monday he has signed an executive order to rescind the COVID-19 state of emergency in Oklahoma effective Tuesday.

The emergency declaration was set to expire May 11.

In a video message, Stitt pointed to the state's seven-day average of new cases and hospitalizations both being down more than 90% from their early January peaks.

"Because Oklahomans used personal responsibility to protect themselves, their families and our most vulnerable, the data shows COVID-19 is no longer an emergency," Stitt said.


The governor's latest emergency order, issued April 11, is greatly pared down from those a year ago. In addition to case and hospitalization reporting requirements, the most recent declaration lets the state health department make emergency purchases that exceed some spending limits, allows state agencies responding to the pandemic employ extra staff without taking classification requirements into account and says medical professionals licensed out of state may practice in Oklahoma. 

Past emergency orders shut down nonessential businesses, waived some trucking regulations, and ordered older Oklahomans and those with serious health conditions to remain at home. 

Stitt said Oklahoma has reached the point where anyone who wants a vaccine can get one.

"Back in February, I cast the vision that we would get our summer back. Oklahoma, now is the time," Stitt said.

The governor's office said the state health department will continue collecting data from hospitals and testing labs "to remain vigilant."

As of Monday, the state had 448,872 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the first case was reported in March 2020. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease has killed 8,298 Oklahomans in that time.

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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