The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire
To date, the Tulsa Health Department (THD) has confirmed 19,473 positive COVID-19 cases in Tulsa County. 17,145 residents have recovered and 180 have died. Test results are updated daily at www.tulsa-health.org/COVID19. For the most up-to-date news, information and business resources in Tulsa, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/COVID19.
Halloween Safety Guidelines
The CDC has issued guidelines for Halloween across the United States, though the level of safety for any activity depends on local conditions. THD continues to track the data locally and has compiled the most up-to-date local health data for Tulsa County, all of which can be found on its website.
“We can’t always be the ‘no’ police,” THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart said. “Halloween is an example of something that can still be fun for kids and families, as long as people follow the same general recommendations of wearing masks, watching your distancing, washing your hands and avoiding crowds and indoor events.”
For more information and guidance on Halloween safety from THD, visit www.tulsa-health.org/wellness/how-celebrate-halloween-safely.
Permit Center Update
To continue to ensure the safety of both visitors and staff, the Permit Center on the 4th floor of City Hall will remain closed for in-person business until Dec. 1, 2020. Two weeks prior to this date, the City will reevaluate reopening the Permit Center for in-person business based on local health data and release updated details on whether the Permit Center will remain closed for in-person business.
The Permit Center will continue to provide customer services throughout the in-person closure. Applicants can use the Online Portal for all permit applications except Commercial Priority Review, Commercial Repair, Certificate of Occupancy, Residential Fast Track, and Demolition Permits. All of the exceptions above must email their applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions, residents can call (918) 596-9456. Additionally, customers may request virtual Pre-Development, CCP, or other project meetings by email or phone.
All inspectors, plan reviewers and others will continue to take health precautions when they visit your property. All City staff undergo a temperature check before each shift and wear a face covering when in the presence of others. Inspectors will enter commercial occupancies but not enter residences. Any staff with a confirmed COVID case will be placed in quarantine and will not make inspections.
CARES Act Updates
As of today, the citywide collaboration to end homelessness has helped make 422 permanent housing placements.
The City’s temporary shelter at the former Tulsa County juvenile detention center for people experiencing homelessness continues to provide vital resources to Tulsans as other local shelters are operating at reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. Resources provided at the emergency shelter include meals, medical care, vet care for their pets and case management. Since September 8 when doors opened, the shelter has had 1,910 visits with 41 enrolled in the night shelter.
In addition to this CARES Act-funded program, a quarantine hotel has been setup in partnership with City Lights Foundation. The hotel, which operates at an undisclosed location, allows people to recover from COVID-19 in dignity, await testing results and/or isolate if they are highly vulnerable. To date, it has served 109 individuals.
Since the launch of the Financial Navigator program (FN), 152 sessions have been completed and financial experts have made more than 900 referrals. The main topics are utility, rent and food pantry assistance. Services are offered in Spanish, Zomi and Burmese. You can schedule a session with a financial navigator at no cost by calling 211 or filling out a form on the City’s website: https://www.cityoftulsa.org/government/resilient-tulsa/financial-empowerment/. To learn more, a new video showcasing the Financial Navigator program has been published on the City of Tulsa’s YouTube CARES Act playlist.
The City’s Downtown Coordinating Council is still accepting applications for the Get Your Business Out grant that will distribute up to $10,000 for each qualifying business to reimburse eligible expenses associated with expanding outdoor business operations. The funds will allow small businesses impacted by the pandemic to utilize their outdoor space to build a parklet, sidewalk café and street dining. For more information on the grant and how to apply, visit: https://www.downtowntulsaok.com/gybo
For more information about Phase 1 programs of the City’s CARES Act funding, visit: www.cityoftulsa.org/CARES
Creative & Cultural Economy Recovery Program
Today, the City of Tulsa, Tulsa Arts Commission, and Tulsa Planning Office began accepting applications for the VISION Arts Creative & Cultural Economic Recovery Program, which will support organizations in creating economic development opportunities in Tulsa while complying with health and safety guidelines.
The Creative & Cultural Economic Recovery Program, a collaboration between Tulsa City Council, the Mayor’s Office, and Tulsa Arts Commission, will provide nominated 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(3)-sponsored organizations funding for programs that employ creative or scholastic talent to offer safe arts and humanities experiences to audiences. Applying organizations may request up to $25,000 in funding with no private match requirement.
Eligible organizations must provide proof of their own (or sponsor’s) tax-exempt status, details about the current and anticipated effects COVID-19 will have on their finances, and a justification of planned expenses. Nominated organizations will have until Nov. 30, 2021 to make qualifying expenses.
The Tulsa Arts Commission is coordinating with ahha Tulsa and Arts Alliance Tulsa to host virtual information sessions at the following times: 1) 3 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 22, 2) 2 p.m. Sat., Oct. 24, 3) 10 a.m. Mon., Oct. 26, 4) 6 p.m. Wed., Oct. 28. Information on how to join the virtual sessions will be available on the program webpage.
Before finalizing submissions, applicants may request personalized support from an independent arts and culture professional before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15.To apply or learn more about the program and its requirements, visit www.tulsaplanning.org/visionarts. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30. Finalists for funding will be selected in December, with disbursements expected to follow as soon as possible. For questions, contact JT Paganelli at email@example.com.
Early Voting at ONEOK Field
The Tulsa County Election Board anticipates record-breaking voter participation for the three-day early voting period of Thurs., Oct. 29 – Sat., Oct. 31. Given the expected number of voters and the need to social distance, ONEOK Field will be the ONLY early voting location for the November 3
Presidential Election. The centrally located, open-air venue will allow Election Board staff to ensure the success of early voting and the safety of all voters.
There will be ample parking available near and around ONEOK Field with accessible parking and entrances available for those voters who need accommodations. Tulsa Transit will also offer voting-age people wearing an “I Voted” sticker free transportation on the fixed route buses on early voting days. Riders will need to pay their regular fare to the polling location at ONEOK Field but can ride free after voting by wearing the “I Voted” sticker when boarding the bus. See the parking map for details on parking and Tulsa Transit stop locations.
Voters will need to wear masks and social distance; Election Board staff are required to wear PPE. Absentee ballots cannot be dropped off at ONEOK Field.
Because all available Election Board staff members will be needed to facilitate early voting at one large site, the Tulsa County Election Board will not be available for early voting, but will be open for other business including in-person absentee ballot drop-off. In-person absentee ballots must be dropped off no later than 5 p.m. on November 2 and voters must show the same identification required for in-person voting.