OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The mask mandate for the Oklahoma County Courthouse complex is no longer in place after a 2-1 vote by the Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday.
In a 2-1 vote by the Board of Oklahoma County Commissioners on Wednesday morning, the mask mandate for the courthouse complex was rescinded.
“Recently, we’ve had an increasing number of requests to rescind it,” Commissioner Kevin Calvey, District 3, said.
Calvey said that is why he requested the item be added to Wednesday special meeting agenda.
“Remember, we’re in a setting where people have to wear a mask for a very long time. Some of our staff, etc. It’s not like just a quick jaunt into the store or something like that,” Calvey said.
However, representatives from the Oklahoma City-County Health Department warn that while daily case counts are in pretty good shape, testing volume is low right now, making it hard to know the true situation of COVID-19 in the community.
“It looks good now but we’re not sure if it’s real or not,” said Phil Maytubby, COO for OCCHD. “This is the CDC map on level of community transmission for Oklahoma County. These are still in the substantial range.”
After Maytubby’s presentation, Commissioner Carrie Blumert proposed they keep the mask mandate in place until April 30th.
“I have jurors contact me all the time asking, ‘Do you have to wear masks? Is it safe? Am I going to be socially distanced?’ And so far, I’ve been able to tell them, ‘Yes, we have a mask policy,’ and now, I won’t be able to tell them that,” Blumert said.
Opinions from the public outside the county complex about the decision are mixed.
“I don’t think masks are helpful in stopping or slowing down the spread of the virus,” said Brett Bricker. “I don’t wear a mask. I haven’t worn a mask at all ever since I’ve been coming into this building.”
“It’s absolutely absurd to do without our masks. They’re proven to work,” Beau Williams said. “We need to take every responsible safety precaution available to us.”
Judges can still mandate masks in their individual courtrooms.