Democrats call on Gov. Stitt to implement Oklahoma Virus Awareness Program

OKLAHOMA CITY — House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, called on Gov. Kevin Stitt to implement a system to better prepare Oklahoma for pandemics including COVID-19 on Thursday.
The Oklahoma Virus Awareness Program, similar to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Terrorism Advisory System, would use levels to make recommendations for actions based on data and not politics.
“Too many decisions during this pandemic have been made based on what is best for politics,” Virgin said. “This system would help the process become a bit more transparent and more easily understood by relying on specific data thresholds instead of cherry-picked data that promotes one side’s political talking points.”
House Democrats did present an example chart of the program, but the goal is for the actual thresholds and recommendations to be created by public health experts.
“What we have presented (Thursday) is an example of how this system can work,” Virgin said. “We hope that it will be implemented, and we can start taking these proactive measures sooner rather than later.”
Here are the five levels:
• Level five (BLACK) — Hospital capacity is low, recommend citizens shelter in place.
• Level four (RED) — High or rising level of transmission, recommend public spaces operate at 25 percent capacity. Ex: Restaurant dining rooms, gyms, event centers.
• Level three (ORANGE) — The virus is in general circulation, recommend social distancing, mask-wearing.
• Level two (YELLOW) — Case number elevated, recommend social distancing.
• Level one (GREEN) — No threat.

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