OU Med’s Chief COVID-19 Officer Encourages Social Distancing, Wearing Face Masks


Friday, July 3rd 2020, 7:31 am
By: Caleb Califano


OKLAHOMA CITY -

University of Oklahoma Chief COVID-19 Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler weighed in on a new set of requirements taking effect for some businesses in Oklahoma City Friday.

Bratzler said Mayor David Holt’s decision to require face masks for employees at food venues and lowering bars capacity to 50 percent are a good place to start.

Bratzler pointed out that the two biggest components of stopping the spread is wearing a mask and social distancing.

The spike in COVID-19 cases is a little different this time than a few months ago, according to Bratzler. Doctors believe it's being driven by younger, socially active people who go to places like bars.

He said when you look at Oklahoma's test results, they show COVID-19 strongly affecting 18 to 35-year-olds.

Most of the time, Bratzler said, younger people are asymptomatic and don't seek treatment.

For those who are asymptomatic, Bratzler emphasized that being socially active and not wearing a face mask or social distancing could spread coronavirus to someone who could be at-risk.

"That young, mobile and social population can be around people who are at risk,” Bratzler said. “People with diabetes, cancer patients, their grandparents, the elderly. That's what we worry about.”

Holt's proclamation regarding bars and other food venues goes into effect Friday. The proclamation said the new requirements will be in place until July 17.