‘It’s the right thing to do.’ Metro Jewish community center, OKC mayor give away 16,000 masks

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A line of Oklahomans wrapped around Chabad Jewish Center in The Village Wednesday for free masks.

Jewish leaders say 16,000 masks were given by the federal government to distribute to the community.

“It’s all about safety. That’s it. That’s the bottom line,” said Eric Gann, who was in line for a mask.

“It’s the right thing to do. There’s a lot of people out there who are vulnerable,” said Janet Helton, also in line for a mask.

COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma are still rising. OU Medical experts tell KFOR that the state is seeing on average around 500 new cases per day.

“I think we are just getting out and about more, and people were enjoying the increased lack of restrictions,” said Dr. Douglas Drevets, M.D. and an Infectious Disease Specialist for the University of Oklahoma Medical Center.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt is now enforcing the use of masks for restaurant and bar workers. He says while he isn’t mandating them for the public, he still encourages using them.

“It helps us keep our businesses open, it helps us protect lives. Just do this simple act,” said Holt.

Rabbi Ovadia Goldman with the Chabad Jewish Center says the center has already given out 10,000 masks, and he hopes the remaining 6,000 would be given out Wednesday.

“For the ten thousand masks we’ve already distributed, just to save one life would be worth it,” said Goldman.

Wearing masks in OKC and statewide is not law, but some Oklahomans say they wish local officials would follow Norman’s lead in mandating masks when in public.

“We have to protect everybody, not just ourselves and our family when we go out,” said Eme Efiom, who received masks Wednesday.

“I know that there’s people out there who feel like it’s their right to choose, but it’s putting a lot of people at risk. We have to enforce masks. We just have to,” said Helton.

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