By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
When Canadian County offices fully reopen to the public, all employees may have access to new personal protective equipment.
Monday, May 18 is the tentative target date selected to reopen county buildings that have been closed since mid-March after Canadian County was declared a disaster area due to COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
An emergency proclamation signed March 17 by Canadian County Commissioners has allowed the county to receive “aid, relief and assistance” from the federal government.
Canadian County Emergency Manager Andrew Skidmore, on behalf of Canadian County emergency response agencies, has asked the Oklahoma Emergency Management office for personnel protective equipment.
“They said every Friday we’re going to have a delivery of PPE and that we can request supplies on behalf of the county offices,” Skidmore reported at the May 4th Canadian County Commissioners’ meeting. “So, I did one on behalf of all county offices. I don’t know what numbers we’re going to get, but I know what I have asked for.”
The county’s emergency manager said he requested a “pretty significant shipment” of surgical masks and gloves for all employees who work in Canadian County offices – including the juvenile center.
Canadian County District Judge Jack McCurdy said it’s not the county employees he’s concerned with.
“I’m worried about the people coming in,” McCurdy said. “At this point in time, I’m reluctant to let more than 10 people at a time into the courthouse and them not being masked.
“I think everybody – at least until the end of May – should wear masks.”
Meanwhile, Skidmore told other county officials he has a large quantity of chemical disinfectant that can sprayed inside county offices.
“It works very, very well,” he said.
“We can use it more frequently if we need to.”
Meanwhile, Judge McCurdy asked county commissioners if they intend to provide hand-sanitizing stations for the public to use throughout county buildings.
“I have two or three vendors who can do that,” Skidmore responded. “We absolutely can do that.”
The Canadian County Health Department will offer its second drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 6 at Yukon Middle School, 801 S Garth Brooks Blvd.
The county’s emergency manager highly recommended that the public takes advantage of the free swab tests. Patients typically pay several hundred dollars for a test at an urgent care clinic.
Wednesday’s free clinic is “open to anyone” who wants to be tested for COVID (and influenza) – and results are known within 48 hours, Skidmore noted.
Also at their weekly meeting, Canadian County Commissioners accepted a proclamation declaring May 3-9 as “Oklahoma Home and Community Education Week”.
In the proclamation, local OHCE members were recognized for creating 300 protective masks for Canadian County emergency personnel.
In other business Monday morning, the commissioners approved:
• A resolution allowing $230,552.34 in donations from the 2020 Canadian County Junior Livestock Show to be distributed to qualifying sale participants.
• Awarding a $18,910.67 contract to JWC Environmental to replace the “Muffin Monster” sewage grinder at the Canadian County Jail. Other quotes were $20,445.97 and $28,725.
• A final plat for Gordon’s Hollow, a 25-lot development that will feature farmhouse-style homes on 30 acres near 150th and Richland Road in District 1. Roads have been built to Oklahoma City rural standards.
• Awarding a $146,100 low bid from Kirby Smith Machinery for a used excavator for District 2.
• A resolution allowed Canadian County Emergency Management to accept a $3,204.60 donation from Camino Resources for the Local Emergency Planning Committee.