Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners made the move to shut down their office building this week after an employee reportedly became ill due to the coronavirus, a move that also affects a handful of other state agencies that use the building.
Located at 2101 North Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City, the building was closed late Friday as employees were sent home at mid-afternoon soon after it was reportedly learned the employee of the OCC was confirmed to be seriously ill with the virus.
It’s reported the building has undergone a “deep cleaning” or sanitizing following the case of COVID 19. What isn’t sure is how many people came into contact with the ailing employee and whether they were perhaps told to carry out self quarantine as a result of the possible exposure.
At last word, the employee, reported to be in his 40s, was said to be in the Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital.
When asked about the matter, a spokesman for the Commission replied,”No confirmed cases of OVID, cleaning is just a precaution. Building is only shutdown for cleaning. All of our buildings are now closed to the public – but all are staffed.”
In a weekend announcement, the OCC announced the decision.
“In our continuing response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s main Oklahoma City office located in the Jim Thorpe Building, is closed to the public until further notice.
The agency’s business will continue as the majority of our staff are working remotely. All court hearings scheduled for Monday will be continued to a later date. Attorneys and court hearing participants will soon receive a separate message on how to participate in court hearings remotely.
Transportation Division stakeholders already can conduct all necessary business with no in-person interactions. Read more about conducting Transportation-related business online: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/OKOCC/bulletins/2821b14
We appreciate your patience and consideration as agency staff work to continue to provide service while we make adjustments necessary to protect public health. Please check the Commission’s homepage for more updates.
Thank you for your cooperation and attention to these matters.”
The closing of the Jim Thorpe building doesn’t just affect the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The building is also home to offices of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services Human Capital Management, the Oklahoma Arts Council, the State Election Board and the Oklahoma American Legion Department.
The Arts Council is located on the 6th floor of the building. The Council’s website included an announcement that:” Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Oklahoma Arts Council staff members are currently teleworking. Staff members continue to be available through their office email and phone numbers during normal business hours, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT.”
The American Legion Department is located in Suite B-45 of the Jim Thorpe building.
The State Election Board offices were temporarily relocated to the Jim Thorpe building due to the renovation work at the State Capitol. It has been located in Room G-41 of the Thorpe building.
The Corporation Commission also closed its Tulsa Regional office and the Oil and Gas Conservation Division District field offices throughout the state.
The OCC’s Ports of Entry remain in operation, but the buildings are also closed to the public.
All court hearings in Oklahoma City scheduled for Monday, Mar. 23, 2020, will be continued to a later date, either Tuesday or as otherwise agreed to by the parties.