Payne County Pride has postponed its community gathering until 2022, according to a social media post.
The next Pride event was originally scheduled as a downtown community festival for Oct. 9. The pandemic prevent Pride from hosting a 2020 event, but they did manage to have a get-together in the June. The next tentative date is April 2.
“Hello pride family! Due to the impact of COVID-19, the high capacity of our local hospitals, and the recent state of emergency, we cannot proceed with our upcoming festival in good conscience,” the post reads. “We believe it is in our community’s best interest to band together to protect our friends, family, and neighbors to move our pride festivities to April 2nd, 2022. This will allow more of our community to participate comfortably and safely. We know that a cornerstone of our community is taking care of each other, and we will do just that. We are excited to be able to bring you a safe and vibrant festival in the spring!”
While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have trended downward statewide, many hospitals are still reporting a lack of ICU space, including Stillwater Medical. On Friday, SMC reported no ICU beds available of the 12 fully staffed. Of those, eight are COVID-19 patients. SMC listed six non-ICU beds available. Of the staffed non-ICU beds, eight are COVID-19 patients.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, there are 230 active COVID-19 cases in Payne County.