Saying the data support it, Gov. Kevin Stitt said on Thursday the state is ready to move on to phase two of his reopening plan Friday.
That means events like organized sports, weddings and funerals can resume across the state under proper social distancing and sanitation protocols.
"This is our moment to showcase Oklahoma’s courage and freedom to the nation. Let’s work together, let’s lead together and let’s win together," Stitt said.
Stitt said the rate of positive COVID-19 tests, 4.4%, is well below what World Health Organization guidelines prescribe for determining whether testing is sufficient, and new cases are declining overall.
Stitt said another indicator it’s safe to further loosen restrictions is more than 99 percent of Tulsa and Oklahoma county residents do not have active cases of COVID-19.
Oklahoma County, with more than 797,000 residents, has 1,013 confirmed cases of the illness so far. Of those, 243 are considred active cases.
Tulsa County, with more than 651,000 residents, has 743 confirmed cases to date. Of those, 103 are considered active cases.
"It is impossible to eliminate this virus from Oklahoma or from any other state. We must accept the fact that COVID-19 will be with us in some way until there’s a vaccine," Stitt said.
Stitt will move Oklahoma to phase three of his reopening plan in 14 days, barring an ongoing spike in cases or hospitalizations.