EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – The Edmond City Council voted 3-2 Wednesday evening to extend their mask mandate to Nov. 30.
The original mandate in place was originally set to expire Oct. 12. It was put into effect on Aug. 26, after dozens of meetings before the council’s vote in early August.
It was another narrow vote just as it was in August with the motion passing 3-2. They also voted to put it into effect immediately by a vote of 4-1 and voted to extend their emergency proclamation by a vote of 5-0. Their emergency declaration is the original proclamation put in place throughout the pandemic, urging people to socially distance and wash their hands.
City leaders were split on the issue just as they were in early August.
“I am in favor of extending the mask ordinance as it is today until the numbers start coming down,” said Darrell Davis. Edmond City Council member for Ward 3.
“I think it’s counter to our constitution,” said Nick Massey, Edmond City Council member for Ward 4. “One, I don’t think it’s legal. I do think it’s unnecessary.”
The Oklahoma State Department of Health currently shows Edmond with more than 3,000 cases with 23 deaths. The Health Department also shows Oklahoma County with over 19,000 cases and 200 deaths. The Oklahoma City-County Health Department joined Wednesday night’s meeting to provide statistics in Oklahoma County. The COO of the department, Phil Maytubby, said hospitalizations have become a major concern in recent weeks.
“Our room to absorb a lot of cases is getting smaller,” Maytubby said.
Some Edmond residents said in public comment they would be all for the continuance of a mandate.
“It makes no sense when the epidemic is out of control, I think, to stop public health intervention that helps prevent transmission,” an Edmond resident said during public comment.
“I keep hearing personal responsibility,” another Edmond resident said during public comment. “What about personal compassion and personal empathy.”
Other residents said they just want the right to choose.
“What is the end game?” an Edmond resident said during public comment. “When will it end?”
“I come to you more as a citizen than I do a physician,” another Edmond resident said during public comment. “As citizens of Edmond, our right to choose has been taken away from us.”
The Edmond City Council said they will continue to be provided COVID-19 updates from state and local officials in their upcoming meetings.
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