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Oklahoma bombing museum closes, Tulsa cancels large events

March 14, 2020 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Health concerns about the coronavirus resulted Saturday in the temporary closing of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum temporarily banning events that would bring 250 or more people to city-owned facilities.

The 25th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony of the 1995 bombing that killed 168 people scheduled for Sunday, April 19 will be altered in an, as yet, undetermined manner, the museum said in a news release.

“Please know we do not make this decision lightly,” museum executive director Kari Watkins said in the release. “At this time bringing the large amount of visitors into the Museum isn’t prudent.”

The museum will be closed temporarily beginning Sunday and the Oklahoma City Marathon, known as the Run to Remember, is being postponed from late April until October.

The vast majority of people who contract the coronavirus recover within weeks. It causes only mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.

In Tulsa, Bynum said he is temporarily banning events, starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, that would bring 250 or more people to city-owned facilities in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus by revoking their special event permits.

Bynum said he also asked organizers of events expected to draw more than 250 people at private locations to cancel, postpone or offer online streaming services.

“The threshold of 250 people is a recommendation given by the Centers for Disease Control to other communities when trying to determine the proper restriction. We will continue to monitor and adapt as this event evolves,” the mayor said in a statement.

Properties owned by the city include the BOK Center, the Convention Center, City Hall, the Gilcrease Museum and the Tulsa Zoo. The ban is in place until April 15.

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