Norman Mayor Breea Clark will enact a stay-at-home order for Norman residents to stop the spread of the coronavirus within the city, as first reported by The Oklahoman.
The order comes after the state announced the number of infected individuals in Cleveland County has moved up to 22, and the statewide number of deaths increased to 3 after the death of a Cleveland County resident. According to an email from OU, the shelter-in-place order will begin Thursday, March 26.
City of Norman Chief Communications Officer Annahlyse J. Meyer said the order will be discussed at the city's 3 p.m. virtual press conference, which will be available for live stream on the city's YouTube channel.
"It will be a stay-at-home (order) for all nonessential trips and gatherings," Meyer said. "The goal really here is just to ensure that people aren't going on nonessential trips and that everyone is doing their part to flatten the curve and ensure the safety of their neighbors."
Meyer said the order will be enforced on a complaint basis if individuals are seen violating the order, and that the city will explain what delineates essential vs. nonessential trips at the 3 p.m. press conference.
According to an update from the university, OU's current policies for Norman campus employees are consistent with the order and "no new changes to Norman campus policies are being made at this time." The email stated that employees should communicate with supervisors to determine work arrangements, and that telecommuting is encouraged unless employees fill in-person roles "necessary to critical university operations."
"The safety of our employees is our greatest concern, and we will continue to carefully monitor the COVID-19 crisis and modify policies when necessary," the email stated. "The university has taken extraordinary steps to ensure the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, and we appreciate the city is taking similar action to ensure the entire Norman community is safe."
A number of shelter-in-place orders have been issued by government officials around the country. The New York Times is reporting that 167 million people have been urged to stay home.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health encourages Oklahomans to stay home, wash hands frequently, avoid touching the face and reduce social contact. If an individual begins experiencing COVID-19 symptoms — including fever, cough or shortness of breath — contact a medical professional or call the COVID-19 call center at 877-215-8336 or 211 for assistance.