Oklahoma Capitol To Reopen To Public On Limited Basis

May 4, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Capitol will reopen to the public on a limited basis this week as the Legislature prepares to return and residents began returning to businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

State Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall said the public can enter the building starting 10 a.m. Monday after being screened and under social distancing and health safety protocols. 

“Capitol access is being phased in cautiously just like Oklahoma’s reopening is being phased in cautiously,” McCall, an Atoka Republican, said in their joint statement released late Saturday.

Treat, an Oklahoma City Republican, said lawmakers are following the guidance of health officials at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

“Health professionals advised us on the previous access guidelines, and they are advising us on these, as well,” Treat said.

Lawmakers have met just twice since closing the Legislature in mid-March.

On Sunday, the state Health Department reported more than 3,900 confirmed coronavirus cases while the number of deaths was at least 238, unchanged from Saturday.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected without showing symptoms.

Also Friday, Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis said the campus would begin a phased reopening June 1, with plans to hold in-person classes starting in the fall semester.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.