Governor Kevin Stitt is focused on reopening businesses in Oklahoma.
In a Wednesday briefing, Stitt announced his plan to gradually open the economy. This plan will start as soon as Friday.
On April 24, personal care businesses such as hair salons barber shops and nail salons are allowed to reopen their doors for business. Then on May 1, "phase one" of Stitt's plan will commence. This phase will allow businesses such as churches, gyms, movie theaters and restaurants to reopen as well.
Stitt's "phase" plan has three parts. If there is not a large increase in cases or hospitalizations for 14 days after the first phase, then phase two will begin and more gatherings-- such as weddings, funerals, bars and sports-- will also be allowed.
Oklahoma House Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) responded to Stitt's plan in a statement on Wednesday.
"The governor’s decision to reopen Oklahoma businesses early comes from a place of fear, and it is understandable for him to be worried about the long-term economic effects of this pandemic," Martin said. "However, in this time of uncertainty, it is crucial not to make decisions hastily and out of fear but out of fact.
"The Centers for Disease Control has issued clear guidelines on when states should begin reopening, and at this moment, Oklahoma does not meet those criteria. Furthermore, since the beginning of this crisis, we have failed to administer proper testing or tracing that is needed to ensure Oklahoma meets the CDC guidelines. Reopening without proper data and against the scientific community puts Oklahoma workers in a dangerous position to have to choose between their safety and their job. We urge the governor to reconsider until better data is available"
Governor Stitt did not outline a potential phase three, instead stating that he would give more information when they approach phase two.
As of Wednesday, Oklahoma has 2,894 COVID-19 cases and 170 deaths.