Oklahoma – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions taken to date. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


Oklahoma State Department of Health coronavirus resource page.

  • March 15, 2020—Governor Stitt declared an emergency.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor signed an amended executive order declaring a state of emergency that:  
    • Allows health professionals licensed in states that are members of the Emergency Management Compact to practice, so long as they meet certain other conditions; and 
    • Allows state occupational licenses for health care professionals that are set to expire to be temporarily extended during the crisis. 
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor amended Executive Order 2020-07 to include provisions suspending certain state regulations that could limit state and community transmission of the virus.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order 2020-08 strongly recommending Oklahomans follow all CDC guidance to protect public health over the next 15 days, among other actions. 
  • March 21, 2020 – The Governor issued an amendment to Executive Order 2020-07 that:
    • Allows University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University labs to perform diagnostic testing;
    • Permits nurses with inactive licenses to quickly get recertified;
    • Allows nurses to practice regardless of tax compliant status; and,
    • Limits prescriptions of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to ensure there is an adequate supply for patients who need it most 
  • March 24, 2020 – The Oklahoma Department of Commerce is hosting teleconferences for Oklahoma businesses interested in the U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor announced amendments to Executive Order 2020-07 providing for the following measures:
    • Issues a statewide “Safer at Home” order for adults over the age of 65 and vulnerable individuals with serious underlying medical conditions;
    • Limits gatherings to no more than 10 people;
    • Prohibits visitation to nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
    • Postpones all elective surgeries, minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures until April 7;
    • Requires restaurants to provide take-out and delivery options only and close all bars in Oklahoma counties; and,
    • Closes all businesses not identified as being within a critical infrastructure sector through April 15.
  • March 25, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Oklahoma’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Oklahoma to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, and extend fair hearing and appeals timelines.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Oklahoma State University is increasing its testing capability after procuring supplies sufficient to analyze approximately 10,000 test samples being taken by health professionals across the state.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor issued a statement clarifying elective surgeries and procedures suspended under Executive Order 2020-07 (4th amended).
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor broadened testing criteria to include anyone with symptoms or those who have been in direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order 2020-07, extending all provisions of the stay at home order to all 77 counties and:
    • Closing all businesses not identified as being within a critical infrastructure sector;
    • Requiring restaurants to provide take-out and delivery options only and closing all bars through April 30;
    • Postponing all elective surgeries, minor medical procedures, and non-emergency dental procedures;
    • Issuing a statewide stay at home order for adults over the age of 65 and vulnerable individuals with serious underlying medical conditions;
    • Prohibiting visitations to nursing homes and long-term care facilities; and,
    • Limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order ensuring support staff of Oklahoma public schools can be paid for the remainder of their current contract despite school buildings being closed.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order declaring a health emergency in all 77 Oklahoma counties for the next 30 days and designating the Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health as the primary public health authority responding to the emergency.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Governor announced that due to the governor’s declaration of an emergency, the legislature is authorized to access an additional 25 percent of the Rainy Day Fund, or $201 million, to shore up a budget shortfall for the remainder of fiscal year 2020 which ends June 30.
  • April 6, 2020 – The Governor approved an emergency rule that provides approval of temporary emergency waivers for the employment of nurse aide trainees in employer based nurse aide training programs.
  • April 6, 2020 — The Governor approved an emergency rule to provide hospitals with flexibilities to hire nurse aids who are currently in employer-based training programs.  
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order, ensuring first responders such as correctional officers, law enforcement and fire personnel who work for state agencies will receive guaranteed paid time off if they contract the virus. Additionally, the order:
    • Removes barriers to allow more medical professionals to practice in the state by encouraging licensing boards to ease requirements on physician assistants, nurse practitioners and retired physicians;
    • Encourages the boards to increase opportunities for students and recent graduates who are not yet fully licensed to practice;
    • Allows closed health care facilities to be re-opened and remove regulatory burdens that would create lag time in getting bed space to treat patients; and,
    • Allows stretcher vans and stretcher aid vans to assist with emergencies and operate anywhere in the state.
  • April 9, 2020 – The Governor signed SB 1053 and SB 617, fully funding the state government through the month of April.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor announced the creation of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Reboot Program which will address the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Oklahoma businesses, specifically manufacturers.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor announced a comprehensive hospital surge plan in anticipation of peak cases in the coming weeks. Specifically, the plan has three components:
    • The initial phase aims to increase existing hospitals capacities by 40 percent;
    • The second phase includes OSU Medical Center in Tulsa and a hospital in the Oklahoma City metro areas to be used as flex sites; and,
    • The third phase, if needed, will leverage additional facilities constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with assistance from the Oklahoma National Guard.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor approved more than 450 offenders for commutations to decrease prison overcrowding and reduce the risk of community transmission upon reentry.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor announced the Safer at Home order has been extended through May 6 for adults over the age of 65 and vulnerable individuals with serious underlying medical conditions and all elective surgeries are able to resume starting April 24, 2020.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor issued an amendment to Executive Order 2020-13, which establishes guidelines for medical providers to determine which elective surgeries that the state can resume April 24.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Memorandum 2020-02 outlining an Elective Surgery Acuity Scale (ESAS) for medical providers to follow regarding when elective surgeries can be performed during the state of emergency.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor announced all non-life-threatening medical procedures that would have the potential for increasing morbidity or mortality can be performed beginning April 24; additionally, all minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures that are non-life-threatening illnesses may resume May 1.
  • April 20, 2020 – The Board of Equalization declared a $416,883,273 revenue failure for FY2020, which allows the Legislature to access money from savings to fill the gap in the FY2020 budget.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor announced the Open Up and Recover Safely (OURS) plan, which is a three-phased approach to reopen the state’s economy. The statewide plan is:
    • Based on scientific modeling from public health experts;
    • Intended to mitigate risk of resurgence;
    • Intended to protect Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens from the threat of COVID-19; and
    • Intended for businesses and individuals to utilize in conjunction with guidance from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • May 5, 2020 – The Governor announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the state’s request to make funding available for crisis counseling, which will help support mental health initiatives.
  • May 12, 2020 – The Governor issued a sixth amendment to Executive Order 2020-13 to allow the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to assist with potential livestock processing facility disruptions.
  • May 12, 2020 – The Governor announced a bipartisan legislative advisory group to work with the state’s administration to effectively distribute approximately $1.2 billion in federal funds provided to Oklahoma under the CARES Act.
  • May 20, 2020 – The Governor announced the launch of an online platform that will help Oklahoma cities and counties apply for reimbursement through the $1.2 billion in federal funds provided to the state under the CARES Act.
  • May 21, 2020 – The Governor signed HB 3350, providing a Cost of Living Adjustment to first responders, teachers and state employees. The increase applies to members of the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System, Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System, Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges, Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.
  • May 22, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state will receive a Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System, making it possible for hospitals, health care workers, and first responders to recycle their N95 masks. The Battelle Critical Care Contamination System is a self-contained, mobile system that uses high concentration, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 masks.
  • May 29, 2020 – The Governor announced the state will proceed to Phase 3 of the Open Up and Recover Safely Plan on June 1.
  • June 2, 2020 – The Governor announced the Governor’s Solution Task Force and the Oklahoma State Department of Health tested more than 35,800 residents and staff at 265 nursing homes and long-term care facilities across Oklahoma during the month of May.
  • June 2, 2020 – The Governor announced cities and counties have from June 1 through June 10 to submit their first round of applications to the State’s CARES FORWARD team to receive reimbursement funding for local government response expenses.
  • June 12, 2020 – The Governor amended an executive order to allow visitation for long-term care facilities to resume in a phased approach effective June 15.
  • June 12, 2020 – The Governor and State Superintendent of Public Instruction announced they have partnered to give eligible school districts an opportunity to apply for $16 million in emergency relief funds through the federal CARES Act.
  • June 17, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state has begun fulfilling reimbursement requests for CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds, fulfilling 30 percent of city and county requests in the first 7 days of receiving applications.
  • June 19, 2020 – The Governor announced the state is dedicating $10 million towards an Eviction Mitigation grant program in partnership with local non-profits and is dedicating $100 million to the Oklahoma Business Relief Program in partnership with local financial institutions.
  • June 30, 2020 – The Governor announced three new CARES Act grants to support efforts through the Oklahoma State Department of Health to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The three CARES Act grants announced are as follows:
    • COVID-19 Testing and Monitoring Grant ($50 million)
    • Mobile Health Units ($4.2 million)
    • Long Term Care Facilities and Nursing Home Grants ($35 million)