COVID-19: Stay safe this New Year

Gathering virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread.

Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit.

Several factors can contribute to the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 at small in-person gatherings. In combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk:

  • Community levels of COVID-19 – High or increasing levels of COVID-19 cases in the gathering location, as well as in the areas where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.
  • Exposure during travel – Airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.
  • Location of the gathering – Indoor gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation (for example, small enclosed spaces with no outside air), pose more risk than outdoor gatherings.
  • Duration of the gathering – Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings. Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick and requires a 14-day quarantine.
  • Number and crowding of people at the gathering – Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings. The size of a gathering should be determined based on the ability of attendees from different households to stay 6 feet (2 arm lengths) apart, wear masks, wash hands, and follow state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering – Individuals who did not consistently adhere to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), mask wearing, handwashing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than those who consistently practiced these safety measures.
  • Behaviors of attendees during the gathering – Gatherings with more safety measures in place, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and handwashing, pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented. Use of alcohol or drugs may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.


The difference between isolation and quarantine:

Oklahoma City residents can report face mask concerns one of four ways:

Archived Updates:

  • June - November 2020

    November 19, 2020: Mayor David Holt and OCCHD's Executive Director, Dr. Patrick McGough held a Press Conference to discuss the current COVID-19 situation. Click to view.

    10.13.20: The OKC City Council voted and passed an extension to the current mask ordinance which will go through Dec. 6th.

    10.1.20: Governor Kevin Stitt today announced Oklahoma has received an initial allocation of roughly 77,000 Abbott Laboratories BinaxNOW rapid point-of-care COVID-19 tests.

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health will prioritize the distribution of these tests and equipment to K-12 schools, high-risk health care workers and other vulnerable populations. More specific details will be available in the coming days.

    8.13.20: The Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) and Guiding Right announced today individuals can receive same or next day appointments for COVID-19 tests at the Guiding Right New Hope Wellness Center in Oklahoma City. View the press release here.

    8.10.20: The Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) and OU Medicine announced today a joint effort to provide mobile testing in zip codes experiencing high COVID-19 positivity rates in Oklahoma County. OCCHD is providing logistical support for the mobile testing, while OU Medicine will staff the pop-up sites, which will occur once a week on Saturdays. View full press release here.

    8.1.20: Oklahoma City’s mask ordinance is in place until at least Oct. 20 after the City Council voted to extend the requirement to wear face coverings in indoor public places.

    • Read more here.
    • Read the ordinance here.
    • Download a presentation from OCCHD here.
    • Watch the OCCHD presentation and City Council discussion here.

    7.17.20: The OKC City Council approved a mandatory mask ordinance, which goes into effect immediately and goes until Sept. 8, unless the City Council takes further action. View the official ordinance here.

    OCCHD comments on OKC ordinance:

    “The scientific and medical evidence is clear. Masks are the key to winning this battle against COVID-19 collectively as a community. We’re proud of the Oklahoma City Council for taking this critical step toward ensuring Oklahoma City has a fighting chance at reducing the spread of the virus in the weeks to come.

    Results won’t happen overnight, but today’s action is a critical step in protecting our healthcare system, keeping our economy open and reducing avoidable COVID-19 deaths in our community.”

    Dr. Patrick McGough, DNP, MS, RN
    Executive Director
    Oklahoma City-County Health Department

    7.16.20: OKC Mayor David Holt held a special meeting with the OKC City Council and the OKC-County Board of Health to discuss the current COVID-19 testing data and future steps. The meeting can be viewed here.

    7.3.20: Mayor David Holt signed a new emergency proclamation for Oklahoma City's COVID-19 response that takes effect July 3 and continues through July 17. To report a compliance complaint, contact OKC police department. For the full proclamation, click here.

    6.23.20: With the uptick in positive COVID-19 cases, we've noticed a trend in where residents of Oklahoma County are contracting the virus. We're finding that many individuals attending these serious seven locations are often more exposed to COVID-19. To view the press conference from today, click here.

COVID-19 DATA Trends throughout 2020:

OCCHD COVID-19 Podcast Series:


April 5, 2020 (OKLAHOMA CITY) – Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) will collect convalescent plasma from donors who have recovered from COVID-19, part of an experimental initiative to use the product to treat seriously ill patients.

By creating the only statewide registry of available patients, Oklahoma Blood Institute can ensure local patients receive the donated products and have the best possible chance at fighting the illness.

OSDH Hotline Hours: 7 days a week / 8am-5pm
OCCHD Hotline Hours: Mon-Fri / 8am-4:30pm

  • Situational Updates (January-March)

    3.19.20 - Tulsa County; first COVID-19 death
    3.17.20 - State of Emergency Proclamation
    3.17.20 - What to do and how to help
    3.17.20 11:05am - Situation Update
    3.16.20 2:35 pm - Situation Update
    3.16.20 Situation Update
    3.15.20 Situation Update
    3.13.20 Situation Update
    3.12.20 Joint News Release
    3.11.20 OSDH News Release
    3.10.20 OSDH Fact Sheet
    2.26.20 OCCHD Press Release
    CDC Factsheet
    CDC FAQs

    1.31.20 OSDH Test Results

    3.28.20: With recommendations from the public health advisory group, Mayor Holt will be incorporating the Governor's orders into his proclamation and is officially asking us all to "shelter in place." Click to view video announcement. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum is making this announcement simultaneously in Tulsa. Please visit the link below for further explanation.

    3.25.20: The Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) has confirmed two deaths and 56 cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The two deaths include one individual older than 65 and one individual in the 35 – 50 age group. Both individuals were males. Read More.

    3.24.20: Governor Stitt issued a statewide Executive Order that closes non-essential businesses that are in Oklahoma counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19. For more details please visit:

    3.21.20: Governor Stitt amended Executive Order 2020-07 to allow OSU and OU labs to perform COVID-19 testing.

    3.19.20 at 9:15am: Tulsa Health Department officials confirm a Tulsa County resident has died due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Read More.

    3.17.20 at 3:00pm: Announced by Mayor David Holt at the live press conference. View here. Closures effective for Oklahoma City until further notice:

    Guidance for:
    Large Gatherings
    More Information

    3.17.20 at 1:15pm: If you become symptomatic, stay home. COVID-19 is a cold-like virus, so you should approach it the same way you approach a cold. Get some rest, drink plenty of fluids and if you don’t start feeling better in a few days, call your provider and determine the best next steps for you and your family.
    We need to make sure our healthcare system can meet the needs of those who are at highest risk for complications from COVID-19, and the easiest way to do that is to use common sense. If you wouldn’t go to the doctor for these symptoms under normal circumstances, please don’t go now. Read more.

    • 3.17.20 at 11:05am: There are now 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. At this time, all test results conducted through the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) public health laboratory are sent to the ordering physician or submitting clinical facility. Test status or results will not be provided by phone. If test results are positive, public health officials initiate an investigation, which results in notifying the patient and provider to conduct the case investigation and contact tracing procedures. Read more.

    3.16.20 at 2:36pm: Pursuant to Governor Stitt’s Executive Order 2020-06 and President Trump’s declaration of a National Public Health Emergency, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is authorizing the following facilities to restrict visitors as they deem necessary to protect those they serve.... Read More

    3.16.20 at 11:40am: As of this advisory, there are 10 positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever or coughing to please stay home and limit person-to-person engagement. Read More

    3.15.20: Gov. Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency for all 77 counties in Oklahoma. Click to view statement.

    3.15.20 at 7:20pm: A COVID-19 Press Conference was held this afternoon. Updates on the situation were given and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt declared a state of emergency for the city of Oklahoma City. Click to watch the Press Conference

    3.15.20 at 12:45pm: Three additional individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. The cases are in Cleveland, Payne and Tulsa counties. There are currently seven cases in Oklahoma. Read more.

    3.13.20 at 9:45pm: Oklahoma’s public health officials have announced the first presumptive positive COVID-19 case in Oklahoma County. The individual is a woman in her 60s who had recent travel to Florida. She is in isolation at home and public health officials have commenced contact investigation. Officials noted the presumptive case is unrelated to other COVID -19 cases in Oklahoma. There are now four cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. Read more.

    3.12.20 at 6:30am: Public health officials are still investigating the situation following last night’s NBA game here in Oklahoma City. More information will be shared as we learn it today, but remember to rely on facts vs rumors across social media.

    3.11.20 at 10:30pm: The NBA has announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has been tested for COVID-19 and received a presumptive positive result while in Oklahoma City. Public health officials were able to obtain the test result before the game’s tip off. This is still an ongoing investigation as public health officials are testing other players and staff who have been in contact with the player.

    Those who were in attendance at the game are not at risk of catching COVID-19. As a reminder, COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. Only individuals who are in close contact with a person with COVID-19 would be at risk of exposure.

  • Situational Updates (April-May)

    5.29.20: Mayor David Holt will sign a new emergency proclamation for Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 response that includes recommendations for high-risk activities that are intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

    This proclamation follows Mayor Holt’s announced intention to largely align this new phase of Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 response with the State of Oklahoma’s OURS Plan.

    The proclamation takes effect June 1. Its provisions will be re-evaluated no later than June 15. White House and State of Oklahoma guidelines require this phase to last at least two weeks. Based on public health data, the state of emergency could potentially end at the conclusion of that two-week period. View more here.

    5.15.20: The CDC released their Community Mitigation Guidance. Community mitigation activities are actions that people and communities can take to slow the spread of infectious diseases. Community mitigation is especially important before a vaccine or drug becomes widely available. To find guidance for communities, schools, workplaces, and events click here.

    5.15.20: Mayor David Holt signed a new emergency proclamation for Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 response that includes required conditions on high-risk activities that are intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

    This proclamation follows Mayor Holt’s announced intention to largely align this new phase of Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 response with the State of Oklahoma’s OURS Plan.

    The proclamation takes effect May 15. Its provisions will be re-evaluated no later than May 29. White House and State of Oklahoma guidelines require this phase to last at least two weeks. Based on public health data, it could potentially enter another phase at the conclusion of that two-week period.

    To view the full proclamation, click here.

    4.29.20: Mayor David Holt signed a new emergency proclamation for Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 response that includes required conditions on high-risk activities that are intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus. To view the full proclamation, click here.

  • Past Guidance Documents


    Employees who appear to have symptoms (ie. fever, cough, or shortness of breath) upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day should be sent home.

    If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The fellow employees should self-monitor for symptoms.

    Employers should not require a positive COVID-19 test result or a healthcare provider's note for employees who are sick to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or return to work. Healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and unable to provide such documentation in a timely manner. For further guidance, click here.

    To view guidance for restaurants/cafeterias, grocery stores, charitable food distribution sites, and food trucks, click here.

    Cruise Travel

    Travel outside of US

    Travel within US

    Colleges and Universities

    Health Care Providers


    K-12 Schools

    Public Health Laboratory

    Public Travel

    Click to view OCCHD's Guidence.pdf. Includes guidance for Restaurants/Cafeterias, Grocery Stores and Charitable Food Distribution Sites, and Food Trucks.

  • Municipality Information

The Importance of Hand Washing:

            Information from the CDC