Governor Kevin Stitt announced today that Oklahoma schools following safety protocols, including mask-wearing and social distancing, will be permitted to forgo the mandatory two-week quarantine period for potential COVID-19 exposures.
Gov. Stitt and Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye emphasized the new Oklahoma State Department of Health policy is intended to keep students and teachers safe in school while also incentivizing mask usage and other precautions for school districts across the state.
“We need to put our students first, and we need to get them back in class,” said Gov. Stitt. “Refusing to offer in-person school is jeopardizing our kids’ education; it’s jeopardizing teachers’ careers; and it’s jeopardizing the future of the State of Oklahoma. Today, we’re announcing a new policy that will help us keep schools open safely. It will also help encourage and reward mask wearing in schools across the state. Moving forward, schools that enforce the use of masks will not have to quarantine students that were potentially exposed to COVID-19 unless they are showing symptoms.”
As part of the new policy, schools should continue to require quarantines for exposed students in situations where masking and distancing protocols were not followed. Additionally, the updated quarantine guidance does not apply if the exposure occurs during after-school activities, including sports. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must continue to isolate regardless where they contracted the virus or were wearing a mask.
The State is prioritizing vaccinations for teachers who are 65 and older this week and next and will open vaccinations up to all teachers as soon as vaccine availability allows. The state will also double the amount of rapid antigen tests provided to schools to encourage frequent testing to catch any positive cases early.
“As a physician, I follow the science, and it’s been critical to our COVID-19 response to do so,” said Commissioner Frye. “But it’s also important to look at factors on the ground, and schools have proven to be one of the safest places for most of our students. Other states such as Missouri, Utah and Ohio have put similar quarantine policies into place and haven’t seen large outbreaks occur in schools. This aligns with the trends we’ve seen in our own state, largely thanks to our parents, students, teachers and school administrators who have been doing an outstanding job following precautions and keeping our students safe.”
Frye added, “Data also shows—and the CDC recommends—that getting students safely back to in-person learning is critical for their educational success, mental health and social development. Our public health decisions need to balance all facets of health, and we’re confident this new policy will allow our students to safely thrive in the classroom.”
District 2 Vaccine plan
District 2 announces plans for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution for Alfalfa, Blaine, Canadian, Kingfisher, Garfield, Grant, Logan and Major Counties.
COVID-19 Vaccine distribution events will continue to be held Daily By Appointment in each of our counties. You must sign up ahead of time at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov to enroll to receive vaccine.
Information and updates will be shared through newspapers and County Health Department Facebook Pages.
These events are currently only open to First Responders, Healthcare Workers and People over 65.
Identification of age over 65, occupation in healthcare or as a first responder is required upon arrival for vaccine.
Please do not attend the events if you do not meet these qualifications.
Please see the FAQ page for questions registering on the vaccine portal: https://oklahoma.gov/covid19/vaccine-information/vaccine-faqs.html
Second Doses: Appointments for second doses are added as Booster Only Appointments in the vaccinate.oklahoma.gov portal weekly by Wednesday at 1 p.m.
It’s recommended that you should get your second dose 21 days for Pfizer and 28 days for Moderna after your first dose of the vaccine. It is okay to receive the second dose later than that as there is no maximum interval for the second dose. You do not need to schedule your second dose appointment on exactly the 21-day or 28-day timeline.
• Garfield County: Daily By Appointment at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov at the Oakwood Mall in Enid, Oklahoma from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., https://www.facebook.com/garfieldcountyhealthdepartment.
• Kingfisher/Major/Grant/Blaine Counties: Daily By Appointment at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov at the County Health Departments from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., https://www.facebook.com/KingfisherCoHealth, Kingfisher County Health Department: (405) 375-3008.
Major County Health Department: (580) 227-3362, https://www.facebook.com/majorcountyhealthdepartment.
Grant County Health Department: (580) 395-2906, https://www.facebook.com/grantcountyhealthdepartment.
Blaine County Health Department: (580) 623-7974, https://www.facebook.com/blainecountyhealthdept.
From December 17 to January 12, the district has been able to give out over 14,500 doses of Moderna and Pfizer Vaccine: Blaine, 300; Canadian, about 4,500; Garfield 7,613; Grant, 219; Kingfisher, 278; Logan, 1,384; and Major, 138.
The County Health Department Teams Continue to offer tests for COVID-19 by appointment but due to the high volume of vaccination required, these appointments will be limited based on the availability of staff and resources. They ask you continue to please Wear a Mask, Wash your Hands and Watch your Distance.