By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
EL RENO – Canadian County Commissioners have agreed to relax restrictions for people entering county offices.
Commissioners and other elected county officials discussed at Monday morning’s commissioners’ meeting the next steps to re-open Canadian County buildings to the public.
The talks were held on the first day of phase three of Gov. Stitt’s COVID-19 reopening plan.
“We are going to relax things more,” Canadian County Commission Chairman Marc Hader said.
A Canadian County COVID-19 reopening policy – first approved May 18 – was tweaked slightly Monday.
In the previous two weeks, anyone entering county administration offices was provided a face mask and had their temperature taken to ensure they weren’t running a fever.
“We’ve gone like crazy through the masks,” Hader said. “I’m not sure our supply is going to last that much longer.”
Canadian County sent 1,000 masks to the juvenile center and then powered through 500-600 masks of its 2,000 allotment within the first week, he noted.
Hader wants to make sure to keep a mask supply at county offices for employees.
Canadian County Emergency Manager Andrew Skidmore said there’s no chance “right now” to get more masks.
So now, anyone entering county offices can bring a face covering with them to wear if they don’t feel comfortable about potential virus exposure.
“If someone wants to come in and they’re nervous or concerned, bring a mask with you,” Hader said.
Temperature checks are no longer required for people entering Canadian administration office buildings, the District 1 commissioner added.
(Masks and temperatures checks are still required at the Canadian County Courthouse – see related story)
If at all possible, people are encouraged to conduct county business remotely – by phone, electronically or mail.
If they do have to come to a county building for face-to-face interaction, citizens are advised to call that particular office in advance to find out any specific restrictions or guidelines.
Canadian County’s COVID-19 reopening policy for county buildings and services includes several other items:
• Doors will be open in a limited fashion.
• People who are sick or have a temperature of 100.4F or higher should stay home.
• Anyone entering a Canadian County office or facility should be prepared to either wait in a queue with at least 6-foot spacing or to wait outside until space is available.
As part of reopening procedures, hand-sanitizing stations have been placed across Canadian County facilities.
Plexiglas partitions also have been installed in the lobby of the Canadian County Administration Building and several county offices.
Phase three of the state’s reopening plan allows businesses to bring back all employees but still limits nursing home visits, District 2 Commissioner David Anderson said.
Chairman Hader noted that Oklahoma is among states with the fewest positive COVID-19 cases. He pointed out the state’s population is “more spread out” and the wind blows frequently to help reduce virus spread.
Commissioners agreed to adopt the revised reopening policy providing a “slight reduction” in restrictions, Hader said. “We still have guidelines that encourage people to be cautious and careful.”
Meanwhile, Canadian County Commissioners on Monday approved a 2020 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Grant for the sheriff’s office.
Lt. Mike Grimes said this is a new, fully reimbursable federal grant through the District Attorney’s Council.
The two-year grant provides funding for equipment, and the sheriff’s office could seek supplemental funds for personnel costs.
District 3 County Commissioner Jack Stewart asked fellow commissioners for help building a gravel parking lot for the future Cardinal Point Family Justice Center, which will offer services for domestic violence survivors. An estimated 30-40 spaces will be needed for employees and service providers on the north side of Canadian County Children’s Justice Center where Cardinal Point will be housed in coming months.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
In other action at its weekly meeting, county commissioners approved:
* Advertising bids for ballistic/spike resistant spikes for the sheriff’s office.
* Tabling for one more week a revised Canadian County Emergency Operations Plan.
* A FY21 public works contract between the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and District 2 to provide inmate labor.