Businesses temporarily closing, activities cancelled as COVID-19 cases rise

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
News alert

As new cases of coronavirus continue to rise across the city, county and region, many local businesses are once again temporarily shutting their doors to help prevent the further spread of the virus. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, as of Saturday July 4, there are currently 49 active cases of COVID-19 in Carter County. Forty-four are listed in Ardmore, and five are in Lone Grove.

In Texas the spike has led Gov. Greg Abbott to issue an executive order requiring the public to wear face coverings while in public in any county where there are 20 or more active cases of COVID-19. Though no such order exists in Oklahoma, many local businesses and organizations are taking their own precautions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Local restaurants and bars have been among the most impacted by the recent spike with the Dew Drop Inn, and Santa Fe Cattle Company temporarily shutting their doors due to an employee contracting the virus. Both businesses issued statements on social media last week informing the public of the infection and temporary shut down. Cafe Alley, the sister restaurant of Dew Drop Inn, also temporarily closed its doors due to the interaction between the staff of both businesses.

Case Romo announced via social media Wednesday they will be temporarily suspending on-site dining due to the recent spike in cases. The statement said no employees or patrons have reported being infected with the virus, but they felt closing the dining room to be the most responsible course of action. The restaurant will continue to offer curbside pick up and delivery via Door Dash.

Retail businesses have also been impacted by the virus and via social media The Rage announced on Tuesday they too will be temporarily closing after an employee tested positive for the virus.

Recreation activities have also recently announced cancellations. On Thursday the Ardmore Theatre announced they have decided to cancel their upcoming production of “The Wizard of Oz” due to the rising numbers of COVID-19. The statement said the decision was made in order to keep the cast and crew safe as well has helping the community bounce back from the virus.  

Ardmore City Manager J.D. Spohn said the city and the mayor are closely monitoring the spike in cases and are looking into steps the city might take to encourage more people to wear masks. He also expressed his gratitude to all of the businesses that have made the decision to temporarily close.

“I’d like to commend all of the restaurants, bars and businesses that are going the extra mile and have taken proactive action to protect their employees and the citizens by voluntarily shutting down,” Spohn said. “Our businesses can certainly choose to require face masks, and we recommend they do that, but that’s certainly at to their discretion. We all just need to be cognizant of the fact that simply wearing a face mask we can help us get a handle thing thing.”

He said the city is currently only allowing limited access to city hall and has decided to extend the restriction for at least another month. City employees are also required  to wear a mask at all times they are inside the building unless they are alone inside their own office.

“Everyone is very concerned — and rightly so,” Spohn said. “We all need to do our part to get ahead of this situation.”