Virus emergency declared in Yukon

Yukon Mayor Michael McEachern signs an emergency declaration in response to ongoing coronavirus precautions. Photo / Provided

With the first case of COVID-19 being reported in Canadian County on Monday, the city of Yukon has declared a state of emergency.
Yukon is the latest city across the state to do so in an effort to negate the health threat created by the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, schools across the state, including those in Yukon, will be closed until April 6.
Yukon Mayor Michael McEachern issued the declaration at around mid-
morning.
The declaration closes some city-owned facilities, cancels events and meetings and highly encourages local restaurants, bars, businesses and organizations to impose social distancing measures.
The emergency declaration will remain in effect until April 6.
City spokesperson Jenna Roberson said all city services will remain in operation.
Residents are urged to use the city’s online, phone or drive-through options when possible to pay bills or to conduct city business.
Roberson said the city will close the following facilities until at least April 6:
Dale Robertson Center, the Mabel C. Fry Public Library, Jackie Cooper Gymnasium, Yukon Community Center, Yukon Parks and Recreation’s leagues, facilities and events.
Roberson said park rentals also will be closed, though the parks themselves will be open.
Seniors who normally each lunch at the Dale Robertson Center will be able to get their meals to go.
In addition, Roberson said city events, including the Taste of Yukon and the Mayor’s Breakfast, are being postponed.
Also, any pending permits for events will not be processed, and the city will not issue any new permits for public or private events that would happen on city
property.
Meanwhile, all Yukon Municipal Court dockets are being canceled.
Cases that are scheduled to be heard in the near future will be rescheduled.
The city also has suggested that all in-person gatherings should be postponed, including those “for social, spiritual and recreational purposes.”
The Yukon Chamber of Commerce announced that this week’s community coffee has been canceled.
“The city of Yukon is taking these measures to limit the public’s potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Rest assured, the health and safety of its citizens is a top priority,” a news release states.
Roberson said the city will continue to monitor and reassess the situation to ensure the health and safety of its citizens.
As of Tuesday morning, 17 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Oklahoma. That includes a second case in Canadian County.
There are 82 cases with pending results.
According to the state health department, Oklahoma County has the most cases with six, including someone on the state Senate staff.
Tulsa County has three cases.
There are eight cases with people who are between the ages of 18-49 and five cases between 50-64 and four cases of those 65 and over.

YUKON SCHOOLS
Late Monday, Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said Yukon is following the directions of the state school board and will remain closed until April 6.
Simeroth said he doesn’t expect the closure to affect the end of Yukon’s school year.
“The state has a way to allow for forgiveness of the days that are missed in emergency situations such as this,” Simeroth said.
He said he wasn’t surprised by the state board’s decision, which came during an emergency meeting.
“As of yesterday (Sunday), it was inevitable. We saw it coming,” Simeroth said.
However, he is not certain that classes will resume April 6.
Meanwhile, the fate of several events are up in the air. That includes prom.
Simeroth said it is not clear whether prom will be rescheduled.
Graduation, however, will happen, though it may be pushed back.
“It is too far out for rash decisions,” Simeroth said.
While the schools are closed, the superintendent said the district will continue to offer meals for the studentws.
“We’re still feeding kids. We will have grab-and-go things. We’re not having in-house settings because we are trying to keep people separated,” he said.
That service will begin on March 23 because the district was already out of school this week for spring break.
“Also, we need time to prepare,” he said.

CANADIAN COUNTY JAIL
Canadian County Sheriff Chris West announced Tuesday that all inmate visitations at the county detention center have been suspended indefinitely.
West also said procedures for attorney-inmate visits are being changed to help protect the jail population and staff from potential contamination.
In addition, the sheriff said his department has halted processing gun permit requests as well as fingerprinting until May 1.
“I’m asking the public to bear with us as we do our part to protect our jail population, jail staff and other sheriff’s office employees from COVID-19, so that we can continue to serve and protect the citizens of Canadian County,” West said.

COMMISSIONERS
The Canadian County Commissioners met in an emergency session late Tuesday to declare a disaster emergency.
The declaration allows the county, as well as the cities, to seek federal and state assistance.

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