City Of Tahlequah To Enforce Public Safety Curfew Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Starting at 11:59 p.m. April 1, all essential businesses, except hospitals, in Tahlequah must comply to the city’s new public safety curfew, which prohibits businesses to open from 10 at night to 5 in the morning. 

Wednesday, April 1st 2020, 4:00 pm

By: News On 6, Chinh Doan


Growing COVID-19 concerns are leading to more Green Country communities taking additional actions. 

Starting at 11:59 p.m. April 1, all essential businesses, except hospitals, in Tahlequah must comply to the city’s new public safety curfew, which prohibits businesses to open from 10 at night to 5 in the morning. 

City leaders told News On 6 the public safety curfew will allow police to enforce those who are hanging around in groups, such as at convenience stores. 

Mayor Sue Catron said it’s been one of the hardest decisions she’s ever have to make. 

“It’s going to hurt their businesses,” said Catron. “I don’t know which ones are going to survive. On the other hand, if we don’t take action, people we love may not be here in a few months. So to weigh this and make a decision is really, really difficult.”

Tahlequah already has an executive order that prohibits dining in restaurants or groups of more than 10.

The city has also closed its playgrounds. 

As of April 1, the Oklahoma Department of Health reported seven confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cherokee County. 

Catron said she believes that number is at least double with some positive tests at two regional hospitals in the Tahlequah area.

Members of a local task force that’s made of first responders, county and city leaders, such as council member Bree Long, told News On 6 the community must do as much as possible to slow the spread of the virus. 

“We’re a regional hub not only for healthcare services but also, we have Northeastern State University within our community, which is a great asset to our community,” said Long. 

Violators could be fined $500 or spend up to 10 days in jail.

Police chief Nate King said the ordinance is a tool for his department. 

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