While introducing Oklahoma’s new attorney general in Tulsa Friday, Gov. Kevin Stitt was questioned about what he is doing to address the COVID-19 Delta variant that continues to plague hospitals nationwide.
For the third straight day, Oklahoma reports more than 1,000 new COVID cases. Experts said approximately 95% of people hospitalized are unvaccinated.
Oklahoma remains in the bottom 10 of states nationwide for the fewest amount of people fully vaccinated.
Stitt encourages the public that a COVID vaccine and mask is up to you, this as kids prepare to head back to school.
“This is about personal responsibility. This is about freedoms,” said Stitt. “Nothing in the legislation last year prevents a parent from sending their child to school with a mask or prevents anyone of having their child under 12 get vaccinated.”
The governor said he has no plans on declaring an emergency.
“You should make these decisions in consultation with your medical professionals, and I’ve been consistent on that the entire time,” said Stitt.
Health care professionals warn children are much more susceptible to the Delta variant.
Oklahoma City Public Schools will take the new school year one day at time.
“Students and staff that are unvaccinated will still be required to quarantine,” said Brad Herzer, the Assistant Superintendent of HR, Safety, and Security. “If you are vaccinated, however, unless you are showing symptoms, you will not have to quarantine.”
Local health officials said the vaccine is doing its job.
“It’s keeping people out of the hospital, so I think it is important to focus on that,” said Dr. David Chansolme with Integris.