Governor Kevin Stitt is rolling back COVID-19 restrictions across the state.
Starting Friday, there will be no capacity limits on public gatherings and sporting events, and masks will not be required in state buildings.
“I have said from the beginning the standard cannot be zero cases, In Oklahoma the standard for normal is freedom,” Governor Stitt said in a press conference Thursday.
Governor Stitt made the announcement exactly one year to the day COVID-19 shut down the Oklahoma City Thunder game and the rest of the state.
Officials said low case counts and high vaccine rates are influencing the decision. So far more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the state.
"Most of our teachers have had at least one vaccine. Our kids are back in the classroom. All residents and staff at nursing homes and long-term care facilities have had an option for a vaccine. That means our most vulnerable population is now protected," Stitt said.
Even though the state's COVID numbers are dropping, the president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association told New’s 9 it's too soon to let your guard down.
“Look, we have the virus on the ropes, we're winning these battles, we have the momentum, but we can't afford to back away from this virus and let it regain strength," said Dr. George Monks, the Oklahoma State Medical Association's president.
He says Oklahomans should continue to practice COVID-19 safety guidelines and get vaccinated when possible.
While the governor has pulled restrictions, he did say mask-wearing is still encouraged,
“You can still, and you are even encouraged to wear a mask in certain circumstances," says Stitt.
Even though statewide restrictions are lifted, any city mandates are still in effect. Oklahoma City's mask mandate will remain in effect until April 30th.