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Enhanced Norman coronavirus regulations limit gatherings to 10; additional businesses to be closed

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Norman Mayor Breea Clark increased coronavirus-related regulations to limit gatherings to 10 people effective immediately and additional businesses will be required to close by 5 p.m. Monday.

Under the enhanced regulations, barber shops, beauty parlors, health clubs or spas and nail salons will be closed after 5 p.m. March 23, according to a press release from the city. 

The enhanced regulations also require that “to the extent possible,” retail establishments including grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations establish controls to enforce a minimum of 6 feet between patrons in lines.

The changes to the regulations come after Clark declared a state of emergency for the city on March 13. Establishments such as restaurants and bars were required to close any seating areas for patrons March 18, though takeout and delivery options were still permitted. Gatherings had been limited to no more than 50 people.

As of Sunday morning, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 67 confirmed cases in the state, with 13 of those in Cleveland County.

OU announced March 18 it would move classes online for the rest of the semester in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and the campus was closed last week. The university has announced two OU community members have tested positive for COVID-19. Across the Norman area, many events have been postponed or canceled. 

According to the World Health Organization, people can avoid the disease through hand-washing, social distancing, keeping hands away from the face, practicing respiratory hygiene and seeking medical care quickly if symptoms — including fever, cough and difficulty breathing — arise.

Illness due to the coronavirus is generally mild, especially for children and young adults, according to the WHO. But about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care and older people are at increased risk to experience serious illness.

Correction: This post was updated at 12:25 p.m. March 23 to clarify that the mayor's increased coronavirus-related regulations will require barber shops, beauty parlors, health clubs or spas and nail salons to close by 5 p.m. March 23. 

Scott Kirker is a letters and Spanish senior and assistant news managing editor for The Daily. Previously he worked as summer editor-in-chief and as a news reporter covering research and administrative searches.

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