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Number of positive cases in Jackson County, OK jumps from 54 on July 10 to 252 on July 23
Altus, OK— July 23, 2020 — The latest COVID-19 infection numbers coming out of Jackson County, Oklahoma are very concerning, and Altus city government is working hard to protect its citizens and keep them informed of any updates to the situation. In just thirteen days, COVID-19 cases in Jackson County have increased over 4 ½ times from 54 confirmed COVID-19 cases on July 10 to 252 confirmed cases today. As cases in Jackson County continue to increase, city officials today cautioned businesses to follow CDC guidelines and let businesses know that they are responsible for requiring customers to comply with the Mayor’s Emergency Orders requiring facial coverings. The Mayor also issued the second update to his Emergency Orders by requiring businesses to post new signage from the City.
Today, Mayor Smiley stated that: “This increase in cases is very concerning to us as a city and to your Mayor and City Council, entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the residents of our city. We are doing everything that we can to protect you and visitors to our city from the spread of this deadly pandemic. We want to avoid a shutdown of local businesses again because of this serious health threat to our city. While we are sensitive to the struggles of our local businesses, we must keep the health and safety of our citizens as our number one priority.”
Medical experts agree that certain steps are effective in containing the spread of COVID-19. And one of the most important steps in containing the spread of the virus is for people to properly wear protective face coverings while in public. Sadly, Altus is now one of the hotbeds for infection in all of Oklahoma, and for this reason, on July 14, Mayor Smiley issued the Emergency Orders required everyone inside Altus city limits to wear face coverings in public. On July 16, the Altus City Council voted unanimously to granted the Mayor continued Emergency Authority in order to help contain the virus. On July 17, Mayor Smiley issued the first clarification of this Emergency Order.
Refusal to comply with the Emergency Orders on face coverings is a misdemeanor under Altus Municipal Code, Section 14-11 and is punishable under Section 1-13(e) by a monetary penalty up to a $750 fine and/or up to 60 days in jail. Updated signage stressing the importance of following this Emergency Order along with potential punishments for non-compliance is being distributed to local businesses (see below).
The full emergency order can be found on our COVID-19 alerts page here.