OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – Metro hospitals are on the verge of collapse as staff shortages continue and patients keep pouring in, but the healthcare system and first responders are not alone in their battle. surname. The latest wave also affected schools and workplaces across Oklahoma as state lawmakers continued to debate how to keep Oklahomans safe from COVID-19 last week before the 2022 Legislative Session. Republicans are rolling back federal vaccine regulations and want to incorporate those views into state law.
“Trying to argue with the federal government about who is responsible is ineffective,” said Sen. Julia Kirt, D-OKC.
“It has become so politicized that I think more than ever, it needs to be in the hands of individual citizens,” said Senator Rob Standridge, R-Norman.
“Before 2020, vaccines were very good,” said Senator Mary Boren, D-Norman.
At the Oklahoma State Convention, the debate about how to best protect Oklahomans from COVID-19 is raging. A day after the US Supreme Court deregulated federal vaccines for large companies, Oklahoma lawmakers are working to do the same here.
Standridge, a pharmacy owner, said: “I have seen a number of bills that remove certain mandates.
Standridge authored one of at least seven bills limiting vaccine mandates. His bills allow employees to make claims against businesses if they are injured after being asked to shoot.
“If you force someone to put something, a chemical in their body, then you are responsible for the outcome,” he said.
Senator David Bullard, R-Durant, also introduced a bill on Friday that would make it “illegal for any federal or state agency, political subdivision, or any business enterprise.” under a state contract requiring any Oklahoma resident to submit or receive COVID-19 Immunization or any variation thereof. ”
Senate Democrats say this sounds like political theater and protest by the federal government.
“They’re really taking advantage of the political climate related to COVID,” Boren said.
“We need to stop the spread of COVID, instead of discriminating who has what control,” Kirt said.
Meanwhile, across the Early State, school districts have closed or switched to virtual learning because too many teachers have fallen ill with COVID.
Mid-Del School said on Tuesday its students would return to classrooms but would be required to wear masks. However, the district said no-mask options submitted earlier this year will still be respected.
Oklahoma City Public Schools previously announced students would return to in-person classes on Tuesday. Friday, the district said students will be learning virtual on that day. However, OKCPS said there is always the possibility that it will have to resume online learning if there are still staffing issues next week.
“When schools are closed, you know, we’re having a hard time,” said Angelica Johnson, parent of Norman Public Schools.
Johnson is just one of a number of parents forced to choose between work or staying home with their kids. Thankfully, the Department of Parks and Rec Norman stepped up, supporting parents as low as $25 a child at three locations. Parents believe that the care is worth the cash.
“The importance of having them here to support me as a single parent has been immense,” Johnson said.
“We are all a community working in this area right now,” said Mitchell Richardson, 12th Avenue Park and Rec Center Supervisor.
https://kfor.com/news/local/partisan-covid-19-divide-continues-as-oklahoma-schools-parents-make-tough-decisions/ COVID-19 partisan split continues as Oklahoma schools, parents make tough decisions