OKLAHOMA CITY – Masking requirements are making a comeback from schools to businesses to city government.
City workers are once again required to wear masks in city buildings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the public is encouraged to follow suit.
“This only applies to city employees and not to the public. Although we strongly recommend that the public wear masks when entering city offices, ”spokeswoman Kristy Yager said.
On the same day, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported a 10% increase in cases statewide, City Manager Craig Freeman told department heads in a memo: ” As coronavirus cases continue to increase in our workforce and in the community, we are bringing back specific safety precautions that have helped us control infections earlier in the pandemic. “
These precautions include the requirement for employees, whether vaccinated or not, to wear face coverings when dealing with other city employees or with the public, as well as in common areas of buildings. in town and at town meetings.
The requirements went into effect Wednesday, a day after Oklahoma city council members discussed the return of a mask warrant for residents.
City council on Tuesday approved a resolution “strongly encouraging” residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces and reminding them that businesses and organizations can demand stricter mask rules for their spaces.
The resolution was passed 6-2, with Bradley Carter and David Greenwell voting no. Barbara Young was absent.
Greenwell said he was not a fan of the resolutions and did not think it clarified the mask issue. He suggested that city council consider another mask mandate instead.
James Cooper said he brought the resolution to the body because he didn’t think there would be enough votes to pass a mandate. Cooper and Nikki Nice have said they will bring the question of the mandate to the next meeting on August 31.
“We have to do more,” Nice said. “It’s not going to go away any time soon. “
Wearing a mask in indoor public places was mandatory for people aged 11 and older under Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 safety code that was enacted in July 2020 and expired on April 30.
The Oklahoma City Tower Theater property tweeted its support for a mask warrant on Thursday and said anyone entering the concert and cinema hall – or its neighboring Ponyboy venue – must provide proof of vaccination or a test Current negative COVID-19 as of September 8.
“We hope that national and local authorities will take the necessary steps to slow the spread of COVID-19,” the tweet read. “We strongly encourage leaders to act quickly and decisively on behalf of public health. We hope to see you soon – and safely.