Starting Friday, Oklahomans will no longer be required to wear masks or limit capacity at businesses.
On Thursday, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) announced he would lift the orders.
“Because of the progress we have made, I will be issuing a new executive order tomorrow: There will be no statewide restrictions on events, or Oklahomans.” Stitt said a press conference.
“I’m also removing the requirements to wear a mask in state buildings. More Oklahomans are getting vaccines each day, and the CDC’s new guidelines mean wearing a mask should be a personal decision based on your circumstances.”
Stitt credited vaccines and masks for lifting the restrictions, but still urged Oklahomans to wear masks if deemed necessary.
“The standard for normal cannot be zero cases,” Stitt said.
“In Oklahoma, the standard for normal is freedom. The freedom to worship, the freedom to go to work and earn a paycheck, the freedom to visit your loved ones in nursing homes, the freedom to send your kids to school in person, and the freedom to protect your family however you see fit.”
“As long as I’m governor, I will protect the freedoms of Oklahomans.”
The governor said hospitalizations are down and it’s time for Oklahomans to take responsibility for themselves.
“Oklahoma has been fully reopened since last June. We are watching these cases. You just saw the graphs. The numbers are lower today than they were last summer on a 7-day average before some of the municipalities put in more restrictions… We look at hospitalizations very closely. That was the whole goal when we thought about flattening the curve, 15 days to flatten the curve last spring. Now we have less than 300 people in the hospitals statewide. We want to get our summer back. But also at the same time, we are telling Oklahomans to take personal responsibility, continue to be vigilant. And I think Oklahomans will do the right thing.”
The order will come two days after Oklahoma’s neighbor to the south, Texas, officially lifted Covid restrictions.