LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The City of Lawton says they will end the civil emergency issued over two months ago and will follow Governor Kevin Stitt’s OURS Plan starting Thursday.
“Local hospitalization is at a minimum and the state’s hospitalization rate continues to decline, so we are ending the civil emergency with the signing of the latest order,” said Mayor Stan Booker. “We intend to fall in line with the Governor’s plan in full and strongly encourage all citizens to continue monitoring this situation and following appropriate safety protocols for the safety of themselves and their families.”
In March, Mayor Stan Booker issued the civil emergency proclamation and began efforts to control COVID-19 spread in Lawton by restricting businesses and other activities in the city.
On April 7, the council voted to give the Mayor Pro-Tem position, currently held by Jay Burk, equal authority to the Mayor during declared civil emergencies.
Almost two weeks later, Councilmember Sean Fortenbaugh filed a citizen’s complaint against Mayor Booker and Mayor Pro-Tem Burk with the State’s Attorney General office saying “while I agree that an emergency condition exists, the City Charter and the citizens of Lawton never intended for two individuals to take over city government.”
The displeasure appeared to calm down as the city began loosening restrictions and Governor Stitt issued his OURS Plan, which the city will now follow.
COVID-19 cases in Comanche County have grown substantially in the past week but almost all cases can be traced back to the Comanche County Detention Center which is currently dealing with over 100 cases between inmates and staff.
Oklahoma is currently in Phase II of the OURS Plan which allows most businesses to reopen with restrictions and CDC guidelines in place.
The civil emergency will officially end on Wednesday at 11;59 p.m. and the Lawton City Council will resume its normal role at that time.