Local leaders address new COVID restrictions, other options to mitigate spread

Local leaders address new COVID restrictions, other options to mitigate spread

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - New restrictions for businesses are nearly in place following a rapid spike in COVID cases across Oklahoma.

In Comanche County alone, the health department director said 65 new cases are added daily.

“These are not the last steps that he’s going to take. I hope he and the rest of his team will continue to monitor cases. But there’s no doubt, we are at the most critical point in this pandemic. It’s up to all of us,” said Rep, Daniel Pae.

But what exactly will the next step be?

The regional health department director said if it is a lockdown, that could help slow the spread, but there has to be some sort of balance.

“We look from a public health strategy and say hey that works, that drives the numbers down. But we don’t wait on others to tell us what to do in any other capacity, so why are waiting now, we know what to do,” said Regional Health Department Director Brandie Combs.

That includes wearing masks, staying home if you are sick and practicing social distancing. Lawton Mayor Stan Booker emphasizes the mask portion.

“Forty percent, and that’s across the state, there’s a 40 percent lower active case rate in municipalities that mandate masks instead of suggest them,” said Mayor Stan Booker.

The city council hasn’t addressed Covid since the beginning of October.

Mayor Booker said in the limited conversations he’s legally allowed to have with other members, council doesn’t want to take further steps than the state is.

“i don’t think the council is interested in restricting Lawton even more when no other surrounding communities have put anything in,” said Mayor Booker.

Mayor Booker did say at their meeting next Tuesday, health officials will be there to address the covid situation through SWOK and it’s impact on area hospitals.

Combs said getting tested is something everyone should be doing if they feel sick, even if you believe it might just be allergies.

She said there is free testing being offered in the Cameron Stadium parking lot on 38th and Gore.

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