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Oklahoma governor lifting coronavirus restrictions in state

The state health commissioner said more than 1.3 million people in Oklahoma have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said Thursday that he is lifting coronavirus restrictions statewide as more people are receiving vaccinations and the number of new cases and hospitalizations decline.

“There will be no statewide restrictions on events for Oklahomans,” Stitt said. “I’m also removing a requirement to wear masks inside state buildings ... wearing a mask should be a personal decision based on your circumstances.”

The restrictions that limit occupancy to 50% in public buildings and the mask requirement will be rescinded Friday by executive order, Stitt said. The governor most recently extended the restrictions in February.

State health commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said more than 1.3 million people in Oklahoma have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases in Oklahoma has declined from 736 per day on Feb. 23 to 643 on Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The state health department reported 288 hospitalizations, down from a record 1,994 on Jan. 5.

The health department reported 430,944 cases and 7,433 deaths since the pandemic began, increases of 694 cases and 89 more deaths than Wednesday.

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Credit: AP
FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2020, file photo, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City. Gov. Stitt is reaching out to leaders of the Five Tribes of Oklahoma to begin formal negotiations related to last year's landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on tribal sovereignty. Stitt said in a statement Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, he's welcomed the leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole nations to begin discussions. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)