Stillwater News

FAQS: COVID-19 and the Stillwater Community

Released:Apr 01, 2020


Coronavirus Updates from the City of Stillwater

FAQSCOVID-19 and the Stillwater Community

See Breaking News for City of Stillwater News Releases, Emergency Proclamations and links to resources.

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Last updated: April 6, 2020

The City of Stillwater has declared a state of emergency and an order to shelter in place due to COVID-19. These orders place restrictions on residents and local businesses out of concern for public health and safety. As a result, you might have some questions about what's going on. See below for a compiled list of common questions and helpful resources.

The Mayor's latest proclamation, which orders Stillwater residents to shelter in place, avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, and closes nonessential business, remains in effect until April 16 at 11:59 p.m., but could be extended. 

1. Organized Gatherings of 10 or more people

Organized gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.

1Q1. Does this apply to churches? Yes

1Q2. Does this apply to funerals? Yes

1Q3. Does this apply to retail establishments?  

1A3. See “Retail Establishments” below.

1Q4. Does this affect conference centers?

1A4. Yes, an organized gathering or conference of over 10 people is prohibited.

1Q5. Does this affect office buildings?

1A5. No, but businesses are strongly encouraged to take appropriate measures to protect their employees.

1Q6. Does this affect parks, trails and opens spaces?

1A6. No. However, allow six feet between people at all times. See "Quality of Life" below.

2. Personal Services

Beauty shops, barbershops, health clubs or spas, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, massage parlors, and nail salons will not be allowed to operate or open to patrons.

2Q1. Does this apply to medical facilities that provide physical rehabilitation and massage therapy services? No

2Q2. Does this include Pilates and yoga studios? Yes

3. Entertainment Venues

All gyms, fitness facilities, entertainment venues, movie theaters, bowling alleys, skating rinks, private clubs, bars, and lounge will be closed.

3Q1. Does this include outdoor parks or golf courses at this time, although group activities should be limited in number? No.

4. Restaurants

For current retail and restaurant hours and services in Stillwater, visit Visit or call 405.743.3697. Check frequently.

Restaurant dining rooms and other dine-in services such as food courts and buffets will be closed to the public. We do encourage food pick-up and delivery options.

4Q1. Does this include coffee shops?

4A1. Yes, they are considered restaurants

4Q2. Can patrons come inside to pick up orders or must they be delivered at curbside?

4A2. Curbside pickup is strongly encouraged and preferred, but pick-up can be accomplished inside.

4Q3. Does this include the bar portion of restaurants? Yes.

5. Retail Establishments

For current retail and restaurant hours and services in Stillwater, visit Visit or call 405.743.3697. Check frequently.

Retail establishments, including but not limited to, grocery stores, pharmacies, warehouse stores, big box stores, gas stations, farmers markets, or food pantries that provide or sell food products or household staples will establish controls to require a minimum of six feet of distance between patrons in lines in front of and inside stores. Such controls may include, but not limited to, requiring each patron to take a shopping cart or placing markers on the floor.  We strongly urge such businesses to consider and implement measures they can take to protect themselves and the public.

5Q1. Does this apply to dispensaries, vape lounges and businesses such as small independent loan companies?

5A1 Yes. This applies to all retail businesses remaining open during the duration of the emergency declaration.

6. Enforcement of Proclamations and Shelter in Place order

6Q1. How do I know if my business is an essential business or if I have to shut down?

6A1. If your place of business is listed on the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency as essential, then you may remain open but you must practice physical distancing of people (six feet apart) in your establishment. Governor Stitt added to that list, clarifying and expanding those workers identified as essential.

All other businesses in Payne County are ordered, by the Governor, to close. Here is a link:

If you have questions about essential business, contact Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) by email at

6Q2. I have a home business. Can I serve my customers?


6Q3: Can I have a yard sale?

6A3: No. Yard sales, garage sales, tag sales, etc. are prohibited.

6Q4. What if someone violates any of the proclamation, such as hosting a party of 10 or more people?

6A4. Violations may result in a $560 fine. The police will be responding on a complaint basis.

6Q5. Do I need a permit or letter to be out and about?

6A5. No. Stillwater is not under a curfew at this time. City Manager Norman McNickle wishes to assure citizens that if you are out about town, you don’t have to have a letter saying you are doing essential business or you have a doctor’s appointment. The police are not asking for documentation. You may go to the store or the parks. But practice physical distance, which means six feet between people.

7. City Services

7Q1. Is city hall open? I need to pay my bill.

7A1. The Stillwater Municipal Building (City Hall) will be closed to the general public with a few exceptions. Those who must visit for a cash payment, permit, or to pay a fine will be buzzed in through the police department lobby. Residents who buzz in may be asked questions about illness symptoms or reason for business. The City strongly encourages residents to pay bills or fines online or by phone. For questions and more information, call 405.372.0025.

7Q2. My job has been shut down. I can’t pay my City of Stillwater utility bill. What do I do?

7A2. Your utility bill will have to be paid, but City Council acting as the Stillwater Utilities Authority has waived late fees and will not shut off utilities for lack of payment. If you are unable to pay your bill, please contact Utility and Billing Services so a payment plan can be made on your account.

7Q3. What happens if I have a water leak and need a repair person? What if the repair requires a City of Stillwater permit?

7A3. Utilities are considered essential. Also, city hall is open and permits may be issued. This can be completed by a phone call. Call 405.742.8220.

7Q4. What is the Police Department doing to prevent the spread?

7A4. Stillwater Police is altering business operations in response to the COVID-19 virus. This includes changes to how traffic stops and emergency calls are handled, and alterations to ensure safety and sanitization at the jail. See details on what they're doing here:

7Q5. I have business at the Stillwater Fire Administration Office on Main Street. Is it closed? 

7A5. Staff are in the office, but call 405.742.8308 first. This includes calling for burn permits, car seat installation and rural fire contracts.

7Q4. Which city-owned facilities are closed?

  • City Hall (Stillwater Municipal Building) access is extremely limited. Avoid visits. Call for your questions, concerns, or needs: 405.372.0025.

  • Limited services at the Stillwater Public Library. The building is closed for in-person visits, but staff can help you over the phone or by email. During our normal hours, call 405.372.3633 x8106, email or Facebook message the librarians.  

  • Stillwater Community Center

  • Stillwater Senior Center

  • Stillwater Parks and Recreation office

  • Senior Activity Center (closed indefinitely)

  • Park shelter rentals

  • All Stillwater park restrooms

  • Armory Open Gym

  • Lake McMurtry: tent & RV camping, restroom facilities

7Q5. Is the Convenience Collection Center still open for drop-offs?

7A5. Yes, at this time, residents may still drop-off items at the Convenience Collection Center, 807 S. Perkins Rd. It is open for its usual hours. 

7Q6. Can I still adopt an animal from Stillwater Animal Welfare?

7A6. The Stillwater Animal Welfare shelter is still open for business, but with a few restrictions on operations. Visitors must be adopting or looking for a lost pet and must call ahead before visiting. For more information, go to

8. Quality of Life

8Q1. Can I exercise outside? 

8A1. Stillwater residents are facing new challenges by restricting their activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is still important for them to stay healthy—both mentally and physically. A great way to do this is to go outside and use open outdoor areas of parks and trails.

According to the National Recreation and Park Association, here are some best practices for your outdoor time:

  • Do not use parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to visiting parks or trails.
  • Stillwater playgrounds, restrooms and fountains are closed.
  • Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence as you pass.
  • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other persons at all times.

Playground equipment and sports courts are closed to the public.

8Q2. Can I use playground equipment or sports courts?

8A2. City-owned playgrounds and other park equipment like sport courts (basketball, tennis, volleyball, etc.) are closed.

8Q3: (NEW) Why are bathrooms are the parks closed? Lots of people are using the parks and would like to use the facilities.

8A3: The City of Stillwater is working hard to provide city services to its residents; however, we are working with reduced staff and under unique conditions. A decision was made to close bathrooms and playgrounds at city parks because we cannot keep them sanitized. We are relying on residents to bring their own sanitizers and wipes for personal hygiene.  The City, like most of you, hopes things can return to normal soon; but until this pandemic is under control, park bathrooms will remain closed.

8Q4. Do I need to buy bottled water?

8A4. As our community takes steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, we understand that our customers are interested in the safety of our drinking water. According to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Stillwater’s water treatment process will remove and inactivate pathogens, including the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 has not been found in drinking water, and there is no evidence of it spreading through drinking water. It is safe to continue using tap water for normal drinking, cooking, bathing, and hand washing.  In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there is no evidence of COVID-19 infection through sewage. City staff will continue to focus on providing critical drinking water and wastewater services to our customers. For more information, visit the CDCEPA, and WHO websites.

8Q4. What is the Stillwater Regional Airport doing to ensure traveler safety?

8A4. The Stillwater Airport is working in collaboration with TSA and American Airlines to keep facilities clean, sanitized and ensure social distancing. The airport's director has listed specific steps here:

9Q5. What can I do to keep my home sanitized?

9A5. See below for tips:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
    Experts across the board agree that handwashing is the best way to stay safe. Use paper towels or your elbow to turn the tap off after handwashing.

  • Stockpile two weeks to a month’s worth of nonperishable food, medications, soap, sanitizer, disinfectants and other supplies.
    If you end up not needing these items for an illness, you might for power outages, snowstorms or other situations.

  • Cough or sneeze into tissues or the inside of your elbow. Cover both your mouth and nose.
    Virus droplets can survive in the air for a few hours. On surfaces and objects, they may remain viable for up to three days.

  • Throw used tissues away in a lined, touchless can or wastebasket.
    Handwash right away for 20 seconds (yep, handwashing again!).

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least once a day.
    Clean first and circle around to disinfecting. Pay attention to cellphones, remote controls, light switches, doorknobs, countertops, desks, keyboards, toilets, toilet handles, sinks and taps, among other things.

  • Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.
    When taking the gloves off, peel them away from your body. Wash your hands after disposing of the gloves (yep, that again!).

  • Wash your hands when you get home.
    Also, take your shoes off before entering the house. Carry non-fabric (vinyl or plastic) purses and backpacks. Disinfect them after arriving home.

  • Ask guests to wash their hands or use sanitizer.
    Hang paper towels in bathrooms instead of cloth hand towels. Keep visits to one room, if possible. Don’t put out communal bowls of food.

  • Find another place to stay if your apartment building is poorly ventilated or uses recycled air.
    Bad ventilation can spread viruses and germs, causing many residents in a building to get sick.

  • Separate healthy people from sick people.
    Sick people in the home should have their own towels, bedding, utensils, e-reader, cellphone and the like. If logistics allow, they should use separate bedrooms and bathrooms.

  • Perform a deep clean after a sick person recovers.
    Among other things, wash bedding, pajamas, clothes and stuffed animals that the formerly sick person used.

9. Information & Resources

9Q1. I have lots of questions about what is going on. Where can I find information?

9Q2. I want to have a COVID-19 test. Where can I get one?

8A2. Contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health at or call 877.215.8336 or 2-1-1 for more information about all things related to testing.

9Q3. What is happening with the US 2020 Census?

8A3. You may complete the 2020 Census online at The Stillwater Public Library may be closed to in-person visits, but you may use the Wi-Fi in the parking lot. If you have questions, call a librarian at 405.372.3633 x8106. The phone number for the US Census is 844.330.2020. Census workers have pushed back its door-to-door visits by two weeks.

9Q4. I want to help. What can I do?

9A4. Besides staying at home and practicing physical distancing, you may consider making a donation to the Stillwater Community Foundation. It has set up a Disaster Relief Fund through the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma. Once donations have been collected, the Disaster Relief Funds will deploy resources to community-based organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak and related community needs in the Stillwater area.  Donations will be used to provide support for organizations including nonprofit regional health organizations, government entities, nonprofit organizations, churches and schools that work with people and communities affected by the current disaster. Stillwater has always helped our neighbors in times of need and that won’t stop now. To donate or to learn more about this effort, visit  

You may also help local businesses out by purchases gift cards or ordering carryout. 

9Q5. I’m unemployed because of COVID-19. Where can I find legal help?

9A5. Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc., is assisting clients with unemployment application and appeals, eviction and foreclosure, debt collection/consumer, applying for ACA health insurance, domestic violence issues, and understanding new federal financial benefits under the CARES Act stimulus, in addition to other civil legal issues that we normally assist clients with. To apply for help, please call 888-534-5243 or go to

For legal information, check out

9Q6. I'm struggling with my mental health. Are there any resources for this?

9A6. The Grand Lake Mental Health Center is offering a variety of services on this front, including: online or by phone counseling and treatment services, and iPads to connect you to family or friends.Visit their website at

?The Stillwater Public Library has compiled a variety of community resources for mental health during this time. See their website:


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