Tulsa officials said Friday the more people stay home and avoid unnecessary contact with others, the better COVID-19 infection models get.
Many large area retailers deemed essential businesses by Gov. Kevin Stitt have kept busy this week, with reports of entire families visiting them.
Mayor G.T. Bynum said one person per household should be making essential trips for things like groceries, prescriptions or home maintenance supplies.
Additional restrictions for his safer at home order have been discussed.
"You know, designating based on your address one day versus another of the week that you would be able to go to the store or at least encourage people so they have some idea to try and — from a community standpoint, maybe not from a legal, regulatory one, but just from a community standpoint — reduce the number of people who go," Bynum said. "That’s something that we’re looking at but just haven’t made any decisions on yet."
Bynum issued a safer at home order last Saturday requiring all Tulsans to stay at home unless they're traveling to a job deemed essential by Gov. Kevin Stitt, taking care of a household need or exercising while keeping 6 feet away from people who are not members of their household. Several surrounding communities followed suit this week.
Bynum said even if Tulsans aren't worried about their personal health, there are thousands of others to think about right now. People can carry the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 without developing symptoms, and area hospitals would be overwhelmed by a spike in severe cases.
"We know that we’re in the early stages, and we’ve benefited from being in the middle of the country and seeing cities on the coasts that are far further into this event than we have been. And a lot of them waited far longer into the spread of the virus within their community to take action," Bynum said.
Bynum said following the safer at home order will also protect city employees and first responders, 57 of whom are currently in quarantine.
A Tulsa police officer and a Tulsa County Sheriff's Office dispatcher tested positive for COVID-19 this week. A volunteer with TCSO's cold case task force died of the illness, according to Sheriff Vic Regalado. The Tulsa Fire Department has had as many as 23 firefighters in quarantine.