Bynum Issues Shelter in Place Order

Mar 28, 2020

Updated March 28, 1:05 p.m.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum issued a "shelter in place" order Saturday to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The City of Tulsa is referring to it as a "safer at home" order that follows one issued by Gov. Kevin Stitt earlier this week but applies to all Tulsans, not just those 65 and older or with a serious medical condition.

The order takes effect Saturday at 11:59 p.m. and will be in effect through April 16.

Bynum said current national and local models showed more needed to be done to keep people from interacting and possibly spreading the virus that causes COVID-19, which could overwhelm local hospitals.

"In Tulsa, if things continue as they are, 20,000 people in the Tulsa metro are at high risk of requiring hospitalization in the next two months, and that's just for COVID-19. It doesn't take into consideration every other medical necessity that requires hospitalization," Bynum said.

Under the order, Tulsa residents can still go to grocery, convenience or warehouse stores, pharmacies, doctor appointments and restaurants for takeout or drive-thru meals. They may also care for a friend or family member at their house, exercise outside in groups less than four if they keep at least 6 feet between themselves and others in the community, take pets for a walk or to the vet, or go to their jobs if deemed essential under state guidelines.

Essential businesses must take steps so workers can stay 6 feet from each other at all times.

All public and private events or social gatherings outside of a family or home are no longer allowed.

"I want to be clear that this is not a recommendation. This is an order to protect lives of Tulsans. It will be enforced by the Tulsa Police Department. Officers have discretion to issue citations and, if absolutely necesary, take people to jail for violation of this order," Bynum said.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt has issued the same order.