Gov. Stitt not planning to roll back reopening plans in Oklahoma

Gov. Stitt not planning to roll back reopening plans in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during a roundtable with President Donald Trump on the reopening of America's small businesses, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Thursday, June 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Alex Brandon)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Kevin Stitt does not plan on closing down businesses again as COVID-19 cases begin to surge in Oklahoma.

“We are so far away from talking about this,” Stitt said during a news conference Thursday.

“Again, we just have to learn how to live with it.”

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Stitt begins answering questions about the pandemic around the 15-minute mark of the news conference shared on his Facebook page:

“Closing down the economy is not a part of the discussion at this point,” Stitt said.

Oklahoma has seen several daily records in new cases set in June after entering Phase 3 of the state’s Open Up and Recover Safely Plan including its highest increase of the pandemic with 482 new cases reported Monday.

Stitt says 47 percent of COVID-19 cases since the reopening have been people who are 35 years or younger and 70 percent of cases have been people under 50 years old.

Despite the rising numbers, Stitt said Thursday Oklahomans have done a “good job” with coronavirus.

“We have to continue to take this seriously,” he said.

However, Stitt would not commit to any plan that would mandate wearing masks in public like 18 other states have done to this point.

“I’m always reluctant to mandate things,” Stitt said.

The University of Oklahoma announced Thursday it would require masks in most spaces on its three campuses.