Muskogee City, County Officials Direct Residents to Shelter in Place

Mar 26, 2020

Muskogee city and county officials are directing all residents to stay at home, citing concerns there are many unreported cases of COVID-19 because of a lack of testing supplies.

Under a joint resolution adopted at an emergency meeting Wednesday night, residents should only leave their homes for things like buying groceries, going to the pharmacy, outdoor exercise while staying six feet from others or working at an essential business as determined by Gov. Kevin Stitt’s executive orders.

"I’m just afraid we’re not done. I’m afraid of what’s coming, what we’re going to see next week or in two weeks. But I’m hoping that tonight, we did something for our community that we can say and look back on, that we protected them," said Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge.

The joint resolution was adopted unanimously and is in effect indefinitely.

"We are all working together, and we want you all, everybody out there, on the team. If we just keep our heads about us, we’ll come out of this better," said Mayor Janey Boydston.

An emergency task force convened by Muskogee city and county officials recommended the actions, citing the "inadequate number of testing supplies" and concerns people without symptoms are spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

The resolution also directs nonessential businesses to close in accordance with orders from Stitt. If those orders are not extended, businesses are to take steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, such as implementing and enforcing social distancing and letting employees work from home when possible.

As of Thursday, Muskogee County had four reported cases of the illness.