OKC City Council votes to extend mask mandate again

The OKC City Council on Tuesday voted to extend the city’s mask mandate until at least Dec. 7.The mask mandate, which was originally put in place July 17, requires people to wear face coverings in indoor places.In early September, the city council voted to extend the mandate. That extension was set to expire Oct. 20.Public health officials have said face coverings are key to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Oklahoma City officials cases have declined in the metro since the city’s ordinance was first put in place in mid-July, adding that there have been no other changes to local or statewide coronavirus response efforts since then that can be linked to the decline of cases in the metro. “Evidence shows there’s a high risk of infected people spreading the virus with their breath if they don’t use a face covering,” a news release states. “Evidence also shows infected people can spread the virus even if they don’t have symptoms, underscoring the importance of mask-wearing even for people who feel healthy.”Although Oklahoma City and other city leaders have put mask mandates into place, Gov. Kevin Stitt has not issued a statewide mandate and has said on multiple occasions that he does not plan to do so.The OKC City Council has the discretion to revisit the expiration date at future meetings.Read the details of the face covering requirement here:Everyone in Oklahoma City age 11 and up is required to wear a face covering, like a mask or face shield, in indoor public spaces. There are some exceptions.Public health officials also recommend face coverings for children age 3 and up, although it’s not a requirement in the emergency ordinance, officials said.Face coverings are required only in indoor spaces open to the public, including private property.The face covering must cover both the nose and mouth. A face shield is an alternative to a cloth face covering or mask. Here are general CDC recommendations about cloth face coverings and masks.Exceptions to face covering requirements are:Children age 10 and under, unless required by a school or day care. 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 spray ground. People engaged in sports (including for recreation). People engaged in cardio exercises. But people should make reasonable efforts to observe social distancing between groups of people from different households. 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. People with a developmental disability. People who are deaf or hard of hearing, and people who are communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.People can report violations of the mask ordinance to the Action Center using one of four ways:Online at okc.gov/action By email to [email protected] By text message to (405) 252-1053 Via the OKC Connect smartphone app for iOS and Android devicesAction Center staff will make a report that is routed to OCCHD, whose inspectors will respond to reports, according to city officials. When responding, inspectors will first offer a mask or an opportunity for the person to leave the public, indoor space.People who refuse to wear the mask or leave would be subject to a fine of $9 on a conviction for a first or second offense, according to city officials. The fine would rise to a maximum of $100 for third and subsequent offenses.In situations where someone is refusing to leave or to wear a mask, residents are urged to call 911 for police department enforcement of trespassing ordinances.People with a medical condition preventing them from safely wearing a mask can show a document from their physician confirming that information and will not be subject to a conviction and fine related to the mask ordinance, according to officials.

The OKC City Council on Tuesday voted to extend the city’s mask mandate until at least Dec. 7.

The mask mandate, which was originally put in place July 17, requires people to wear face coverings in indoor places.

In early September, the city council voted to extend the mandate. That extension was set to expire Oct. 20.

Public health officials have said face coverings are key to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Oklahoma City officials cases have declined in the metro since the city’s ordinance was first put in place in mid-July, adding that there have been no other changes to local or statewide coronavirus response efforts since then that can be linked to the decline of cases in the metro.

“Evidence shows there’s a high risk of infected people spreading the virus with their breath if they don’t use a face covering,” a news release states. “Evidence also shows infected people can spread the virus even if they don’t have symptoms, underscoring the importance of mask-wearing even for people who feel healthy.”

Although Oklahoma City and other city leaders have put mask mandates into place, Gov. Kevin Stitt has not issued a statewide mandate and has said on multiple occasions that he does not plan to do so.

The OKC City Council has the discretion to revisit the expiration date at future meetings.

Read the details of the face covering requirement here:

Everyone in Oklahoma City age 11 and up is required to wear a face covering, like a mask or face shield, in indoor public spaces. There are some exceptions.

Public health officials also recommend face coverings for children age 3 and up, although it’s not a requirement in the emergency ordinance, officials said.

Face coverings are required only in indoor spaces open to the public, including private property.

The face covering must cover both the nose and mouth. A face shield is an alternative to a cloth face covering or mask. Here are general CDC recommendations about cloth face coverings and masks.

Exceptions to face covering requirements are:

  • Children age 10 and under, unless required by a school or day care.
  • 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 spray ground.
  • People engaged in sports (including for recreation).
  • People engaged in cardio exercises. But people should make reasonable efforts to observe social distancing between groups of people from different households.
  • 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.
  • People with a developmental disability.
  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing, and people who are communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.

People can report violations of the mask ordinance to the Action Center using one of four ways:

Action Center staff will make a report that is routed to OCCHD, whose inspectors will respond to reports, according to city officials. When responding, inspectors will first offer a mask or an opportunity for the person to leave the public, indoor space.

People who refuse to wear the mask or leave would be subject to a fine of $9 on a conviction for a first or second offense, according to city officials. The fine would rise to a maximum of $100 for third and subsequent offenses.

In situations where someone is refusing to leave or to wear a mask, residents are urged to call 911 for police department enforcement of trespassing ordinances.

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

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