Senate Review: Restrictions, work-arounds and advice from my daughter
April 1, 2020
Gov. Kevin Stitt announced a series of new temporary restrictions that will impact the daily lives of many across District 19 on Tuesday.
Headlining the restrictions was the “Safer at Home” order, which requires those in vulnerable populations to remain at home except for essential travel like trips to the grocery store, pharmacy or doctor’s office. Vulnerable populations include those 65 and older and individuals with serious underlying medical conditions. The governor also prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people and postponed elective surgeries, minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures until April 7. This is important because it allows us to conserve the state’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) since there has been a reported nationwide shortage of such gear for our doctors, nurses and other medical professionals on the front lines of the virus. He also restricted visitation at nursing homes and long-term care centers.
In counties with a positive case of COVID-19, all non-essential businesses were required to close by 11:59 p.m. on March 25 and all restaurants in these counties can now only serve take-out and delivery. As positive cases spread across the state, this order will be amended to include new counties with COVID-19 activity. The good news is there have been no positive cases identified in District 19 as of Friday, March 27.
On Wednesday, the State Board of Education approved Superintendent Hofmeister’s plan to suspend in-person classes for the remainder of the school year and move to a distance learning plan. Each district will be required to submit a plan to the State Department of Education (SDE). Schools can use SDE’s distance learning resources, or they can develop their own resources. Superintendent Hofmeister said this will give each individual school district maximum control to develop a plan that works best for their students and teachers. Distance learning does not necessarily mean online – it can also include packets of work sent to each child – and the SDE is working with OETA to schedule programming for students at home.
In closing, I’d like to share a few thoughts from my daughter, Kristy. She recently wrote a blog outlining some things we can do to establish a “new normal” during these very abnormal times that I think are great tips to remember.
• Connect with people. Although we are social distancing, we don’t have to socially isolate ourselves. Video chat with your family and friends or host a virtual Bible study or social hour. Staying connected is good for our minds and souls.
• Practice self-care. If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. Take a moment to do something you enjoy and recharge your batteries so you can be the best version of yourself.
• Support your local charities and businesses. With businesses closing and restaurants moving to only take-out, it’s more important now than ever to support those who uplift our communities. If you are financially able, I challenge you to pick a charity or business to support this week. Even if it’s just a couple of dollars, every penny counts.
While we all navigate these unknowns and ever-changing information, I challenge you all to check on your family, friends and neighbors. We can get through this together, but it will take all of us to weather this storm.
Please feel free to reach out to me if there is anything I can help you with. You can contact me at 405-521-5630 or via email at [email protected]