EDMOND, Okla. — The Edmond City Council approved a resolution to revise its declaration of emergency regarding COVID-19 to be effective on Friday and reopen personal care businesses. The vote was 5-0.
Businesses will resume, but not as usual. This means that barbershops, pet groomers, spas, gyms and tattoo parlors in Edmond are permitted to open with proper social distancing restrictions issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Oklahoma State Department of Commerce, said Larry Stevens, city manager.
Re-openings will also include the city’s dog park, basketball courts, skate parks, KickingBird Golf Club, and the KickingBird Tennis Center, said Parks and Recreations Director Craig Dishman.
“We also have some plans for phase 2 on May 15 which include sports fields and playgrounds,” Dishman said.
Assistant City Manager Steve Commons said the number of coronavirus infections will need to improve before the city can move into its second phase of re-openings. City Councilman Darrell Davis said the city council needs to establish a baseline as it moves forward in opening other segments of the business community.
“It would help evaluate decision making for us,” Davis said.
City basketball courts will open Friday. Edmond All Sports plans to resume outdoor soccer, baseball, and softball games in mid-May, Dishman said.
Only one golfer will be allowed per golf cart with a second golfer on foot. The number of people will be limited in the club house, Dishman continued. Grill orders will be taken beginning on Friday.
“One other restriction I want to make you aware of council is the requirement to wear a mask,” Stevens said. “When people come into the club house they will be required to wear a mask. You have to go in the club house to register. You’re not going to be required to wear a mask when you play golf.”
A date has yet to be set on when to open Pelican Bay, not because of the water, but due to concession stands, Dishman said. The Splash Pad attracts a lot of people to a small space, so city staff continues to examine a safe re-opening date for it, Dishman said. A date has not been set on when neighborhood pools can open either.
Social distancing will be able to operate in groups large than 10 people with the new declaration. But individuals must keep a minimum of six feet away from other people, said Steve Murdock, city attorney.
“The primary factor for all businesses now is the social distancing,” said Nick Massey, city councilman. “A lot of that is determined by the size of your establishment.”
Mayor Dan O’Neil pointed out that Gov. Stitt’s most recent proclamation that vulnerable individuals over age 65, or individuals with pre-existing health conditions putting them at risk, are asked to stay at home.
“There is a difference between stay at home and being quarantined,” O’Neil said.
He urged people to be outdoors on their property, walk in their neighborhoods, and to use public parks. City Councilman Josh Moore asked if churches and places of worship are asked to follow the social distancing of the governor’s guidelines.
“Our action would be to adopt the Open Up and Recovery Safety Plan in it’s entirety,” Murdock said. “And that plan specifically provides that phase 1 of the plan allows places of worship can re-open for in-person meetings for worship,” Murdock said.
But they must follow CDC guidelines and mandates set by the state commerce department, he said.
“Since our meeting Thursday night we have seen both the state and the county numbers reduce,” said Emergency Management Director Matt Stillwell. “But we’re going to pay close attention to that because of the weekend factor.”
An additional 27 cases were reported by the state on Monday morning. Seven new cases of coronavirus were reported to be in Oklahoma County.
“We’re certainly seeing a reduction over the last week,” Stillwell said.