Gov. Stitt Declares Health Emergency To Strengthen State's Coronavirus Response

Thursday, April 2nd 2020, 6:22 am
By: News On 6

Gov. Kevin Stitt has issued an executive order declaring a health emergency in all 77 counties in the state for the next 30 days.

Under the executive order, the governor is granted broader powers during a health emergency to waive statutory or regulatory requirements and has the ability to coordinate a cohesive statewide response among city and county health departments.

The Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health Gary Cox will serve as the primary public health authority responding to the crisis. 

“Now is the time to align all public health entities in the state as we work together to prepare for a surge in demand on our hospitals,” Stitt said in a news release. “This will allow us to coordinate resources and ensure all Oklahomans have the best access to the medical care they need.”

Health care professionals who have left the workforce can rejoin to fight against COVID-19. The order allows first responders to know if the home they are dispatched to has a resident who has tested positive for the virus.

The state Legislature will need to confirm the emergency declaration on the second business day following the date of the issue. Stitt has called a special session to convene at 8 a.m. Monday at the state Capitol building.