NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Big changes happened in Norman on Tuesday night as the city’s current mask mandate was amended. Now parties of more than 25 people are required to mask up, even on private property.
“I think it will be a difficult thing for them to do. I don’t think they can mandate or regulate that at all honestly,” said OU freshman Macey Nelson. “I feel like everyone has to get it before it goes away.”
OU students are reacting to Norman’s recent mask mandate amendment.
The new rule pertains to social gatherings indoor or outdoor. People will be required to wear masks where social distancing cannot be assured, even on private property.
“I think it can be kinda hard to tell people what to do on private property. I can’t necessarily say that a mask is gonna help the situation, but I guess it can’t hurt either,” said OU junior Ashli Dade.
Norman has seen an increase in cases since OU students went back to campus last month.
“With the return of university students, we’re seeing a huge uptick in these large unmasked parties where social distancing isn’t being practiced,” said Annahlyse Meyer, City of Norman. “While these students may not feel that it affects them, they could be spreaders or carriers within our community.”
Cleveland County is still in the orange zone on the state’s COVID-19 alert system. And on Monday, Norman Public Schools even returned to virtual schooling.
Tuesday’s City Council meeting became heated while taking comments from the public.
“You can make any law that you want to. You come into my house telling me that I gotta wear this stupid thing and you’re gonna have a firefight on your hands. I’m not backing down. I’m not scared of any of you,” said Josh Danforth, who gave a public comment.
But Mayor Breea Clark clarified, saying the city is only going after clear violators.
“We’re not gonna bust into people’s houses to count and make sure everyone’s wearing a mask,” Clark said.
The amendment passed with a vote of five to three and went into effect immediately. Fines range from $50 to $500.
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