Dr. Deborah Birx had about a 45-minute conversation Monday with Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and Oklahoma City-County Health Department Executive Director Dr. Patrick McGough on what Oklahoma can do to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the metro.
“There were five different cities that she was trying to work with yesterday on the call,” Dr. McGough said.
Dr. McGough said each of the cities on the call was experiencing a surge in hospitalizations or cases.
“They did have a concern about that but she did mention that she felt like we were managing things well but wanted to offer up guidance,” Dr. McGough said.
Dr. McGough said Dr. Birx laid out four tips she said evidence showed to be just as powerful as sheltering in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The tips are masking at all times, decreasing the amount of people inside dining rooms and restaurants, cutting back on bars serving alcohol and social distancing.
“Our concern is if we don’t take these measures, we will have to go back to something that we don’t want to have to do like sheltering at home or safer at home,” Dr. McGough said. “What we would rather see is people out and about and enjoying businesses being open.”
For people enjoying being able to go out and about, Dr. McGough said people need to start taking things seriously, especially with Oklahoma County seeing the highest number of cases statewide.
“We need to involve ourselves in these four areas, then we can probably do that,” Dr. McGough said. “That is what we are hopeful to do.”