DUNCAN, Okla. (TNN) - With positive COVID 19 results in Stephens County, starting at midnight March 26th, all non-essential business will close in conjunction with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s order.
Until a case was confirmed in Stephens County, Duncan’s Mayor said he was in no hurry to shut businesses down until they were forced to.
“I’m not anxious to take anyone’s civil rights away, and that was my stance. There is freedom to assemble, freedom to speak, and I wanted to try and maintain those, and not put the city in a position where issues would take place if we overstepped our authority,” said Duncan Mayor Ritchie Dennington.
Dennington said as Mayor, he didn’t have the authority to shut businesses down without passing a new ordinance, but he and city leaders discussed that possibility. He said they followed the rules that applied to them at the time, just like they are doing now.
“I don’t think any of us ever second guessed each other on where we were at. Some of the citizens, some of the health community probably would’ve liked to pull the trigger a little sooner,” said Mayor Dennington.
Mayor Dennington said with no forced closures until this announcement, he’s thankful some businesses took it upon themselves to start the process.
And if people are concerned about whether or not they are out of work, City Councilwoman, and Vice Mayor Patty Wininger said the city can help you figure that out.
“If people are worried ‘am I considered essential service or not,’ they can always call city hall here, and ask because we have it. I think some people would be intimidated to go online and look this up,” said Vice Mayor and City Councilwoman Patty Wininger.
Wininger also said she’s had a lot of citizens call worried about the future of the community, especially with some of these businesses forced closed for weeks.
“All of the 586 municipalities in Oklahoma run off sales tax and some with the addition of use tax. We’ve got to shop local and take care of us here, so our city continues to function going forward,” said Wininger.
For the full list of mandates attached to this order, you can visit cityofduncan.com.