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Norman amid coronavirus: Mayor Breea Clark announces progression to Phase 1B of Healthier at Home initiative

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Breea Clark

Norman Mayor Breea Clark speaks at the Indigenous Peoples' Day celebration Oct. 14, 2019.

Norman moved into Phase 1B of its Healthier at Home social distancing plan Friday after experiencing a downward trend in COVID-19 cases, Mayor Breea Clark announced.

Norman’s Healthier at Home Phase 1A began May 1 with limited openings at gyms, non-essential retail stores, personal care providers, and dining areas of restaurants, among other venues. Mayor Breea Clark amended Phase 1A on May 9 to include entertainment venues and places of worship amid First Amendment concerns.

Since May 1, Norman has experienced six new cases, 25 recoveries and one death. Since city COVID-19 data became available on April 17, Norman has experienced a total of 219 cases, 185 recoveries and 19 deaths.

“Our continued downward trend in the number of new cases is something to be proud of,” Clark said in a release. “It shows our hard work in slowing the spread is working.”

According to the release, Norman Regional Hospital is reporting adequate capacity for COVID-19 cases, and enough testing kits are available to meet standards required to move forward with reopening the city. 

Phase 1B will open public facilities such as playgrounds, basketball courts, dog parks and skate parks, according to the release. Organized youth sports can also begin practicing, and retail stores can increase their occupancy from 30 percent to 50 percent.

“We will still see new cases pop up in our community, which is expected until we get a vaccine,” Clark said in the release. “This means we need to remain vigilant about continuing to wash our hands, sanitize hard surfaces, practice safe physical distancing and continue to wear facial coverings.”

Phase 2 of the Healthier at Home plan is scheduled to take effect May 29. In this phase, community pools, summer camps and bars can open at a limited capacity and with sanitation protocols. Groups of up to 25 people will also be able to gather — up from 10 people in Phase 1A and Phase 1B. 

A full summary of the Healthier at Home plan is available on The OU Daily’s website.

Beth Wallis is a senior journalism major and political science minor, and news managing editor for The Daily. Previously, she worked as a junior news reporter covering university research.

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