The Muskogee City Council unanimously passed a resolution directing residents to stay home apart from essential business amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In an emergency meeting Wednesday evening broadcast on public access TV and streamed on Facebook, councilors heard reports from the Muskogee City-County Joint Task Force on COVID-19 and the task force’s recommendation for a stay-at-home directive.
Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge, who also led the task force, said he thinks it’s vital community members do as asked.
“It’s critical for the members of our community, whether they be at home or at a business, essential or non-essential, to do their part,” Loge said. “This is our recommendation to them. … This is our way of telling members of our community, wherever you are, we are asking you to follow this. It’s crucial.”
Residents are directed to stay at home and avoid discretionary travel unless for essential activities, which include tasks for health and safety, getting supplies to work from home or deliver those to others, or performing work at an essential business as defined by Gov. Kevin Stitt’s executive order.
The resolution also included an exception for outdoor activity, provided people comply with social distancing guidelines. Businesses are also directed to take steps to mitigate the virus’ spread, including social distancing, working from home and other recommended measures.
In a statement of intent attached as part of the resolution, the task force stated it has to assume “there are a significant number of unreported cases locally” and “seemingly healthy individuals” may be unknowingly spreading the virus.
Loge said the steps have to be taken now before the situation worsens and local authorities are “begging for help.”
“I want the public to know I do not wish to take any freedoms,” Loge said. “I ask that you conform and work with us because we’re in this together.”
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