Midwest City leaders pass mandatory mask ordinance

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Residents in another metro city are now required to wear face coverings in public.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, the Midwest City Council approved an emergency public safety ordinance that requires people to wear face coverings over their nose and mouths while in public places.

The masks are required for public spots where social distancing is not possible.

The ordinance, which went into effect immediately, will remain in place until Sept. 22. At that time, the council will decide whether to repeal, modify, or extend the ordinance.

“The City Council’s goal in passing this ordinance is to protect the safety of our residents as well as those who work here and visit our city. Requiring face coverings is one of the most common sense and least restrictive measures we can take to slow the spread of the virus,” said City Manager Tim Lyon. “We want to keep our businesses open and prevent the loss of jobs for our residents while protecting the health and safety of our community.”

Some exceptions to the ordinance include the following:

  • Children younger than 10 years of age, unless required by a school or day care to wear face coverings. Wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged for children two years and older;
  • Any person who falls into the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for those who should not face coverings due to a medical or mental health condition or developmental disability;  (See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-fac…)
  • Those who are consuming food or drink or who are seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
  • Those who are exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors (such as walking a trail, biking, playing golf) and who are maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;
  • Those who are performing cardio exercise. However, those exercising should make every effort to practice social distancing from persons not from their own household;
  • While in a personal vehicle, personal office, or similarly private space if no one outside of your household is present;
  • Private homes;
  • Offices and workplaces that are not public service areas where physical distancing between employees and other occupants can be consistently maintained during hours of operation;
  • When you are obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to your face (such as while visiting a bank, or while using a personal care or dental service involving your face) but only temporarily as it is required.
  • When you are at a swimming pool, lake or similar body of water or a spray park;
  • If you are giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience;
  • If you are performing work in which a face covering could cause or exacerbate a hazard.

Officials say there is no specific punishment or penalty included in the ordinance, but those who refuse to wear a mask where it is required could face prosecution for criminal trespassing, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, or similar offenses based on circumstances.

Anyone with concerns about face coverings not being required in public places can contact the city’s non-emergency number at (405) 739-1388.

For more information, read the ordinance here.

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