EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Another Oklahoma community is taking steps to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.
However, the process to get here didn’t come easy and was filled with debate.
“This is the most polarizing issue that the city of Edmond has ever had in their city council,” said Edmond City Councilmember, David Chapman.
A mask mandate went into effect August 26 for the City of Edmond.
“Any place that’s available for the public to enter and go into… a mask is required,” said the city’s public information officer, Casey Moore.
Most people we spoke with say, their focus is helping others.
“Personally, I’m not afraid of getting the virus, if I get it, I get it, but I certainly don’t want to be responsible for somebody else getting it,” said Rose Donagoan.
“They’re very annoying, and it kind of keeps you out of touch with people, you can’t read their expressions, but I understand to protect others,” added Willa Seifert.
Not everyone feels the same.
“We cannot mandate something, we cannot mandate these masks,” said one resident during a city council meeting.
There are some exceptions:
•Persons under 11 years of age unless required by a school or day care to wear a face covering
•Persons working in a professional office who do not have any face-to-face interactions with the public
•Restaurant patrons while eating or drinking
•Persons in a setting where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, such as when receiving dental services, medical treatments, or while swimming or at a splash park
•Persons engaged in any competitive sporting activities, whether professional or amateur or merely for recreational purposes
•Persons engaged in performing cardio exercise, but they should make a reasonable effort to practice social distancing from persons not from their household
•Persons inside any Federal, State or county government building or other facility• Persons inside any public or private school building or other facility unless required by the school to wear a face covering
•Persons with a developmental disability, including persons who are deaf and hard of hearing, and also mental and psychiatric disability
As far as enforcement, city officials say they won’t send people out looking for rule breakers.
Instead, handling things on a complaint basis.
“If there is a complaint and we send someone out they’re going to be working with that person to try to get them to wear their mask, or move on and we’re not looking to arrest people or charge people that’s kind of a last worst case scenario,” said Moore.
Residents say the mandate, will just take some getting used to.
“I think it’s just a matter of getting in the habit of having one on you,” said Larry Thomas.
“I’m doing it because we’re asked to, and maybe if it helps, then I’ve helped,” said Seifert.
The ordinance stays in place until October 12th.