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STATE OF EMERGENCY: Masks are required in Oklahoma City. Visit covid19.okc.gov for updates and details on the COVID-19 (new coronavirus) emergency proclamation.

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Oklahoma City Council will consider citywide indoor mask requirement during special meeting Friday

Post Date:07/15/2020 5:42 PM

Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher will introduce an emergency public safety ordinance that would require masks in indoor public places throughout Oklahoma City during a special City Council meeting on Friday.

Mayor David Holt, using authority granted to the Mayor in Municipal Code, called the special meeting Friday.

Read the agenda at okc.gov/agenda. The meeting will be held by videoconference, and the agenda includes instructions on how to attend. It will also be streamed live on the City’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/cityofokc/live.

Public health officials say face coverings are key to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Evidence shows there’s a high risk of infected people spreading the virus with their breath if they don’t wear masks. Evidence also shows infected people can spread the virus even if they don’t have symptoms.

Visit covid19.okc.gov for the latest on the coronavirus in Oklahoma City.

Potential mask requirements

The Council could amend the proposed mask order before approving it. At a previously scheduled public meeting to be held Thursday, the Council will hear other public health recommendations from the OKC-County Health Department (OCCHD). The Council may choose to incorporate some or all of those recommendations, which may be different from the proposed mask order on Friday’s agenda.

As currently proposed, the mask requirement would be for everyone in Oklahoma City age 6 and up, with some exceptions.

Masks would be required in indoor spaces open to the public, including private property.

Masks would be defined as any face covering which covers both the nose and mouth. Here are some general CDC recommendations about face coverings.

The City Council may still make changes, but exceptions to the mask requirement as currently proposed would be:

  • Children under age 6, unless required by a school or daycare.
  • People working in an office who don’t have face-to-face interactions with the public.
  • Patrons of restaurants, bars and similar establishments while eating or drinking.
  • People in settings where it isn’t practical or feasible to wear a face covering, like receiving dental services, swimming or playing at a sprayground.
  • People engaged in sports (including for recreation) or cardio exercises.
  • People inside any federal, state or county building or facility
  • People inside a public or private school building or facility, unless required by the school.
  • People at a religious service or ceremony where social distancing is observed between groups of people from different households.

If the Council approves the order with at least 7 of 9 votes, it will take effect immediately. If it passes with 5 or 6 votes, there will be a second hearing during the regular City Council meeting on Tuesday.

If the Council approves the order Tuesday with at least 7 votes, it would take effect immediately. If it passes Tuesday with 5 or 6 votes, it would take effect Aug. 21.

The mask order would expire Sept. 8 unless the Council extends it.

Enforcement

The ordinance allows for enforcement by the Police Department, or code inspectors from OCCHD and the City’s Development Services Department.

There’s a fine of up to $50 for a conviction on the first offense. The fine is up to $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third.

People with a medical condition preventing them from safely wearing a mask can produce a document from their physician confirming that information, and will not be subject to a conviction and fine.

Other COVID-19 issues

Mayor Holt and public health officials encourage everyone in Oklahoma City to wear a mask when they’re around people outside of their household and unable to stay at least 6 feet away from others.

Mayor Holt reminds residents that businesses have every right to require the use of masks. He encourages business owners to do so, and states that the City of Oklahoma City is prepared to support private property rights.

It’s also important to wash your hands regularly, avoid unnecessarily touching your face, and practice social distancing.

All businesses are encouraged to consult and follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols and Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) guidelines, which are available at occhd.org/reopen.

What to do if you're sick 

COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Here's a symptom tracker.

If you’re sick, stay home. Avoid public areas. Stay away from others. Wear a mask or other face covering when you are around other people.

If you're sick, do not go to the ER. Consult first with a health care provider. Regardless of whether tests show you have a common cold, the flu or COVID-19, doctors will tell most people to stay home, rest, get plenty of fluids and avoid contact with others.

If your symptoms worsen, you have difficulty breathing or you have a fever for more than 72 hours, call your doctor. If you don't have health insurance or a doctor, call (405) 425-4489.

Click here for the state’s testing site dashboard.

Learn more here.

Face coverings

Federal, state and local public health authorities recommend you wear a face covering in public.

They’re primarily to protect you from accidentally infecting others. They keep germs away from others.

Many people infected with the coronavirus take a long time to develop symptoms, or never do. If everyone wears face coverings, it will slow down COVID-19.

Here's a do-it-yourself face covering guide from the CDC.

Read more from the CDC.

Information and resources for people

Information and resources for businesses and organizations

Click here for the latest emergency restrictions in OKC.

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Media Contact
Kristy Yager
(405) 297-2550
kristy.yager@okc.gov

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