If anyone is still not taking the COVID-19 epidemic seriously, consider this: the last Waffle House in the Tulsa area that is still serving customers will have to close at midnight on Wednesday.

The Waffle House at 5801 W. 49th St. South has remained open until now because it is officially in Sapulpa, which is now implementing the same strict regulations over business activity in the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The two Waffle Houses in Tulsa, 10516 E. 11th St. and 7022 S. Mingo Road, closed last week, as have the Waffle House restaurants in Broken Arrow and Owasso.

For about the past decade, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has used the status of local Waffle Houses as an unofficial way to measure the magnitude of a natural disaster.

Waffle House is as famed for its locations being opened 24-hours a day in spite such cataclysms as tornadoes and hurricanes, as it is for its waffles and hash browns.

According to a post on its official Facebook page, more than 418 of the more than 2,000 restaurants in this Georgia-based chain have closed because of concerns over the coronavirus.

The Waffle House Twitter account refers to the situation as #WaffleHouseIndexRed.

Calls made Wednesday to Tulsa area Waffle Houses were not answered, or went to voice mail that asked the caller to call back to place a to-go order. Subsequent calls to that number received the same message.

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James D. Watts Jr.



Twitter: watzworld