ENID, Okla. — As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma increased to 106 as of Tuesday morning, March 24, 2020, more local events were being postponed and businesses were taking steps to protect their customers.

Residents are encouraged to call for information about their destination before departing.

• Enid Mayor George Pankonin signed an emergency declaration Friday limiting social and religious gatherings, restricting restaurant access and closing many businesses outright.

Citing the Enid Municipal Code, the mayor's declaration, which will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, prohibits social gatherings or religious services of more than 10 people.

Restaurants are limited to drive-through, take-out or delivery service.

And many businesses, including bars, gyms, exercise facilities, miniature golf, bowling alleys, arcades, skating rinks and movie theaters, are closed to the public. 

The regulations will expire 11:59 p.m. April 13, unless extended, according to a city press release.

In the press release, Pankonin said the measures are a necessary step to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

“After much research, thought and discussion, I have decided to take our emergency proclamation to the inevitable next step," Pankonin said. "It would be irresponsible to hold off until someone is critically ill or deceased in our city to make this tough decision.” 

Oklahoma State Department of Health has provided a statewide COVID-19 call center, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends, at (877) 215-8336.  

City updates will be provided at www.Enid.org/coronavirus.

Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association is canceling two upcoming events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the risks it poses to public health. The annual Spring Alumni Reunion was scheduled for April 25 and has been canceled. Also canceled is the Baseball, Hot Dogs and Apple Pie event at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid sponsored by the Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association, in partnership with the Enid campus, and held in conjunction with the Ranger baseball team schedule.

Northern Oklahoma College will transition to online classes beginning March 30, 2020, following its academic calendar with the last day of the spring semester,May 8. All final grades are due May 11.

NOC also is encouraging students to seek other accommodations besides on-campus housing for the rest of the semester. Spring graduation ceremonies have been postponed, and NOC is working to modify the ceremonies, exploring ways to honor graduates and their achievements at an appropriate time by considering alternatives to the traditional spring graduation events. Call (580) 628-6200 for more information about Northern Oklahoma College or visit www.noc.edu.

St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and Integris Bass Baptist Health Center have tightened restrictions on visitors to their facilities, due to the threat of spreading the coronavirus.

Garfield County commissioners passed an emergency declaration Thursday. March 19, 2020, for public access to the Garfield County Court House and all other Garfield County facilities.

• A number of churches in Enid have ceased in-person worship services to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, while other clergy are weighing options amidst the rapidly changing situation.

Our Daily Bread, the soup kitchen at 616 W. Randolph, will continue serving its patrons, but will offer only to-go service during the coronavirus outbreak.

• ​Col. Corey Simmons, 71st Flying Training Wing commander, has raised the Health Protection Condition at Vance Air Force Base from Alpha to Bravo due to spreading coronavirus concerns.

United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma has postponed its annual meeting and awards banquet following recommendations to cancel events with more than 50 attendees.

Hennessey Public Library has close to the public, following the town of Hennessey's declaration of a state of emergency.

Walmart Supercenter, 5505 W. Garriott, and Neighborhood Market, 1018 N. Cleveland, will begin closing at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020, as part of a national effort by the corporation during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

• The Charlie Daniels Band and Marshall Tucker Band "Fire on the Mountain" tour concert has been rescheduled at Stride Bank Center.

The concert, which was set for April 23, has been moved to Nov. 20.

All tickets for the original performance will be honored for the rescheduled showPatrons not able to attend the new show date are eligible for a refund at point of purchase until 5 p.m. April 15.

• JCPenney announced Wednesday it was closing all of its stores, including the Enid store at Oakwood Mall, until April 2. The closure was effective at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

A number of churches in Enid have ceased in-person worship services to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, while other clergy are weighing options amidst the rapidly changing situation.

Customers can continue to shop through the JCPenney website and app.

• Enid Coffee Connection scheduled for March 26 at United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma has been postponed. It will be rescheduled at some point in the future.

• United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma has postponed its annual annual meeting and awards banquet. It had been scheduled for April 23.

It will be rescheduled, but no date has been set.

• Stride Bank will temporarily modify Enid banking hours and close its lobbies to customers starting Thursday, March 18, 2020.

The 30th Street branch lobby and drive-through will be temporarily closed, but the drive-up ATM will remain accessible. Drive-through locations in downtown Enid, at Maple and Adams, and the Willow branch, 221 W. Willow, will be open. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the downtown location and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Willow.

All ATM locations will remain open, and Stride Bank will increase the frequency at which all locations will be sanitized.

Access to customer safe deposit boxes will be available  only in emergency situations. Customers can call (580) 233-3535 for assistance.

Mobile, online and telephone banking will be available through the duration of the temporary closures. The bank also reported that all employees will continue to receive regular pay.

• Enid Noon AMBUCS board of directors have decided to cancel all meetings until April 17, 2020, according to an email from the group's president Bryan Skaggs.

"We will continue to monitor the situation over the next couple of weeks to determine if the date needs to be extended," Skaggs said.

• Security National Bank has announced plans to close its lobby at noon today, March 18, 2020. Drive-through facilities will remain open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Online, mobile and telephone banking continues to be available to customers. Services that require lobby access can be made through appointment by calling (580) 234-5151. ATM machines also will remain accessible.

•  Ulta Beauty store in Enid will close as of 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020, until at least March 31, as part of a nationwide decision by the company. The Enid store verified it will be open until Thursday evening. The local store had reduced hours earlier this week and will be open today until 6 and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, all hair, skin, brow and makeup services have been suspended. Online shopping will be available.

An Ulta Beauty press release states the company will continue to pay store and salon associates during this time as well as provide benefits for those currently enrolled.

• Loaves & Fishes food resource center has suspended client shopping in its pantry and gone to drive-through distribution of pre-packed food boxes to limit the risk of coronavirus exposure.

"The health, safety and well-being of our volunteers, clients and staff is the number one priority of Loaves & Fishes of Northwest Oklahoma as we face these uncertain circumstances," said Lydia Kelley, Loaves & Fishes executive director. "We also remain committed to feeding our hungry neighbors during this pandemic and doing all we can to lift up those who are in need."

Pre-packed boxes of two weeks worth of food — including bread, meat, produce and dairy, as available — will be distributed in the pantry's parking lot. Kelley said Loaves & Fishes "will still aim to provide fresh produce, meat and dairy items to our clients."

Loaves & Fishes urges people to find a ride if possible, rather than walk up because the boxes weigh at least 50 pounds. If people walk up, they will be served after the "bulk of the vehicles waiting. This is for the safety of our clients on foot."

Loaves & Fishes was closed Tuesday, March 17, 2020, so staff could prepare boxes. The drive-through will be set up in the parking lot and will be open 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays.

• Denny Price Family YMCA will close the facility at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020, until March 31. The facility will then make a decision whether to reopen based on current information about the coronavirus COVID-19.

"The decision to close our facility was made to best ensure the safety of everyone in our community," according to a YMCA press release. "We will continue to monitor this evolving situation and will work with local officials to determine what future actions will be necessary."

YMCA staff and members will be updated via email, and information also will be posted on the facility's website and social media.

• Dental offices also are being affected after the Oklahoma Dental Association board voted unanimously to recommend dental offices in the state postpone any non-emergent care for three weeks.

"This is a very difficult decision, but it comes at a critical time and it is the responsibility to take leadership in this situation and have protocols in place to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19 amongst the community," according to ODA.

• YWCA Enid is limiting all non-emergency programs and events.

The 24-hour crisis line at (800) 966-7644 will continue to be in operation.

"YWCA Enid will continue to support the emergency needs of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking victims through our shelter and SANE programs," YWCA said in a news release.

My Sister's Closet has been closed for now. Volunteering and meeting room rentals are suspended, and Project Cinderella appointments have been rescheduled. YWCA is unable to accept donations at this time.

"We will update weekly on any changes through our social media platforms," YWCA said.

• Tri-County Senior Citizens Center in Covington will change its routine starting Wednesday.

The center will do only carry-out and pick-up to-go meal orders starting Wednesday. Call (580) 864-7843 and staff will fix up a box.

• Enid Symphony Orchestra has postponed its April 4 performance featuring pianist Ya-Fei Chuang until Sept. 19 as the opening event of the 2020-2021 ESO Subscription series.

Enid Symphony Association Board of Directors made the decision.

“As this schedule change shortens the 2020-2021 ESO Subscription Series by one concert, the ESA is offering all current subscribers a $25 reduction on the price of their 2020-2021 ESO Subscription renewal” said ESO Music and Executive Director Douglas Newell.

The 2020-2021 ESO season subscription renewals must be received by June 30, 2020, in order to receive the discount.

• Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce is canceling its April 9 Ambassadors’ meeting and postponing its Enlisted Appreciation Night, which was set for April 25, and the Enid legislative trip to Washington, D.C., in May. The latter two events may be rescheduled at a later date. Additional Enid Chamber meeting and/or event cancellations may be necessary as the COVID-19 emergency remains a fluid situation

"This is an unprecedented and unpredictable time for American citizens and businesses," said Jon Blankenship, Chamber president and CEO. "Obviously, the COVID-19 situation is having a very serious impact on our national, state and regional economy. In a conference call on Monday with Governor Stitt and chamber leaders across the state, the governor indicated that 68 new testing facilities will be set up around the state in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and other stakeholders."

Details on Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest, disaster assistance loans also are evolving, Blankenship said.

A survey to assess the economic impact of COVID-19 to businesses is currently being collected by local and state officials, according to a link on the Oklahoma State Department of Emergency Management. The information will be used to support a request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan declarations from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

• City of Enid public gatherings of 50-plus people are canceled, postponing several performances at Stride Bank Center through April 13 due to concerns of the coronavirus.

“We’ll be postponing all gatherings of 50 or more people through April 13,” Stride Bank Center General Manager Kevin Boryczki said.

Major events affected will be Chicago on April 1, Land Run Beer Fest on April 4 and the April 11 Oklahoma Flying Aces game, Boryczki said.

The Stride Bank Center is looking to reschedule all performances, he said.

“We’re encouraging fans and patrons to keep tickets until a new date is scheduled or until it’s officially canceled,” he said. “At this time, anything after that is still scheduled as planned.”

Shows still slated include Ron “Tater Salad” White April 16, Fire on the Mountain Tour with The Charlie Daniels Band and The Marshall Tucker Band April 23 and Rodney Carrington Live June 6.

“Those are still moving forward as planned,” Boryczki said.

The emergency will begin immediately and will remain in effect until 11:50 p.m April 13 unless further extended.

• Mayor George Pankonin signed a state of emergency proclamation to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Core city services will continue, but the emergency declaration will mean certain city government offices will be closed to the public; all public or private events that require city permits will be revoked; and meetings of city boards and commissions not mandatory will be canceled or postponed.

The emergency will begin immediately and will remain in effect until 11:50 p.m. April 13, unless further extended.

Closures include Champion Park gym and the city Service Center.

Meadowlake Golf Course and city parks will remain open.

The city is asking people who are sick, not feeling well or caring for sick family members to conduct any necessary business with the city through the telephone, email or online methods.

To stay updated with city information regarding COVID-19, residents should access the city website www.Enid.org/coronavirus or on social media at Facebook.com/cityofenidoklahoma.

• Enid Public Schools has canceled its public tours of recent bond issue progress, an event originally scheduled for April 2.

"Since we can't show them off in person right now, look for more photos of bond progress on our Facebook page soon! We cannot thank Enid residents enough for providing our students with improved, safer facilities for learning," a post on the district Facebook page states.

• Public Library of Enid and Garfield County will be closed to the public from 7 p.m. Monday to May 2, with a tentative re-opening date of May 4.

"Though we do not take the decision to close our doors lightly, we take the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing seriously and the health of our community and staff is our first priority," a city statement reads. "However, we are still offering digital resources for our community. We have two digital libraries online with streaming material that is available 24/7 and includes a diverse selection of movies, audio books, books, and other materials. We also have research, access to news, car repair manuals, study material and more on our website at enid.okpls.org/databases."

The library will start a new, free service for curbside delivery of books on active holds and for books placed on reserve. A how-to video will be posted on social media showing how to reserve books through our catalog. Story Time, book reviews and some other programming will be streamed online for public viewing.

The library will extend all item due dates through May 4, and any fines will be forgiven.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and update our social media pages and website with current news and information vital to the safety and health of all of our community members," the statement reads.

The cancellation includes Enid Author Fest and all meeting room reservations.

"Enid Author Fest thanks all of the authors, vendors, publishers and advertisers who helped and planned to participate this year," according to a release from the library. "Any correspondence regarding the author fest should be forwarded to enidauthorfest@gmail.com."

• Main Street Enid has canceled April First Friday.

• Chisholm Trail Expo Center and Garfield County Fairgrounds announced Monday afternoon announced all events of 50 or more people were canceled until April19

"This decision was made at the request of state and local government officials. We are following that guidance. Our offices will be closed, with only essential staff on site throughout the week as needed," according to the Expo Center website. "We will post updated information on contacting us as we finalize our plans for the weeks to come. You may call our offices at (580) 237-0238 for additional information as it becomes available. No additional events will be booked until May 1, 2020 and after."

The cancellation affects all buildings and areas on the fairgrounds, including Expo Center, meeting rooms, trade show area, dirt arena, the Hoover and Youth buildings and Enid Speedway.

All private events of 50 or more people have been notified and refunds will be issued via check and mailed to the address on file.

• Workshops and classes scheduled at Garfield County OSU Extension office have been rescheduled.

The barn quilt class will be held at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. April 29. Due to the number of enrollees, another class is being offered at 10 a.m. April 30.

The LEAD/diabetics class will continue with Class Two at noon April 10. The other classes will continue on May 1 and May 15.

Co-parenting class has been rescheduled to 3 p.m. April 6. 

For more information, call Garfield County OSU Extension Office at (580) 237-1228.

• Chick-fil-A Enid, 4329 W. Garriott, posted Sunday on its Facebook page that its dining room would close Friday but drive-through services still would be available. 

"As of right now, our dining room will remain open until Friday," according to the post. "Friday is the mandatory day for dining room closures. We will continue drive-thru services as normal. We may also implement curb-side delivery. This means you will need to download our app for curb-side service."

• Taco Bell, 402 S, Van Buren, has closed its lobby and is offering drive-through and delivery services only. 

Taco Bell Corp. CEO Mark King released the following as part of a statement via the company's social media.

"As regions of the U.S. begin to mandate public closures and self-quarantine, we are equipping our restaurants to serve our guests via drive-thru and delivery only where necessary," he said. "Should we need to temporarily close our dining rooms, we would be limiting millions of guest interactions and further enabling social distancing. We are going to redefine what it means to be a social brand during this coronavirus pandemic, while at the same time keeping our team members safe, and continuing to provide our fans with the delicious Taco Bell food they love."

• Boy Scouts of America Cimarron Council announced the car show and Pinewood Derby have been postponed until June 13. Those events are held at Chisholm Trail Expo Center

• Garfield County Master Gardeners has canceled its workshop planned for April 4 at Autry Technology Center. The event will not be rescheduled.

• Gaslight Children's Theatre performance of "Jack and the Beanstalk" has been postponed due to concerns over COVID-19.

"Out of concern for the public and our actors, Gaslight Theatre is postponing its annual children’s theatre production, Jack and the Beanstalk, which was originally scheduled for March 21-22 and 28-29," according to a release from the theatre. "Tickets will be honored when the production is rescheduled."

“We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation,” said Ginny Shipley, president of the Gaslight Board of Directors. “As an event venue, we know we will we be impacted. In the interest of public health, postponing 'Jack and the Beanstalk' was the right decision. We will continue to make decisions as things evolve.”

• Enid Animal Control Supervisor Allen Elder said the annual rabies clinic set for April 5 has been postponed due to concern for COVID-19.

He said the clinic would be rescheduled, and when a date was selected, the public would be notified.

• Enid Rotary Club canceled future weekly luncheons until April 6. The organization normally meets at noon each Monday with guest speakers of local, regional or statewide interest. The next meeting is scheduled for April 6 with U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas as speaker.

• Enid Young Professional postponed its March Lunch and Learn with speaker Jason Collington, deputy editor of The Tulsa World.

"Due to recent events, EYP has chosen to postpone our March Lunch and Learn with Jason Collington," an email from the group reads. "The safety of the public and the local community is of the utmost importance. We'll be sending more information about a rescheduled event soon."

• Walmart announced all of its 24-hour stores, including Enid’s Walmart Supercenter, 5505 W. Garriott, will close overnight to allow workers to stock supplies and better sanitize stores during the public health emergency prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Walmart will be open until 11 p.m., according to Walmart's corporate website and the local store. Normal operating hours will be 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Neighborhood Market stores will be open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., closing one hour earlier. The new hours will be enacted until further notice.

“This will help ensure associates are able to stock the products our customers are looking for and to perform cleaning and sanitizing,” according to a press release on the Walmart corporate website. Walmart employees will work their regular hours and shift that have been scheduled.

The corporation also has enacted an emergency leave policy for its 1.4 million hourly U.S. workers that allow them to take time off without penalty if they fear the spread of a new virus. 

• Leonardo’s Children’s Museum announced Saturday it is temporarily closing starting Sunday, March 15, 2020, in response to the “rapidly spreading public health emergency” stemming from the coronavirus. Spring Break Camps, which had been slated this week, have been canceled.

Executive Director Tracy Bittle asked those who had scheduled events at Leonardo’s to be patient, as officials will be reaching out to them about their individual plans. 

• Oklahoma Historical Society has closed all of its sites and affiliates until March 31. That includes Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid.

All OHS-sponsored events at all OHS sites and affiliates will be canceled or postponed through April 14.

Additionally, the OHS is canceling its annual Oklahoma History Conference, which was scheduled for April 22–24 at Sequoyah Lodge near Wagoner.

• Oklahoma Department of Health said Monday in its daily COVID-19 situation update encourages people who need to engage with state agencies to visit the agency’s website to learn more about online options rather than visiting state agency offices.

• Hedges Regional Speech and Hearing has postponed its “Silent Nite on the Town” silent movie event to June 19, 2020. The event will be held at Gaslight Theatre, 221 N. Independence.

• The Sod House Museum has rescheduled the “Genealogy of Marshal McCully” to 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13.

• JCPenney's has adopted temporary store hours of noon to 6 on Sunday and noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

• Go to https://oklahoma.gov/ for a directory of state agencies and links to their websites.

• Great Salt Plains State Park has canceled its open house original set for March 21.



This is a developing story that will be updated. Those with cancellations can contact the Enid News & Eagle newsroom at (580) 548-8140 or email to enidnews@enidnews.com.

BREAKING NEWS on the COVID-19 threat and its impact is available at https://www.enidnews.com/virus and is free for all readers. That includes information on closings and cancellations.

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Cass? Send an email to crains@enidnews.com.

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