OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After the expiration of Oklahoma City’s mask mandate, Mayor David Holt says it’s time for the city’s pandemic response to be turned over to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.
“Today we move fully into a new chapter in our COVID-19 response. The role of municipal government in halting the spread of the virus has now ended as it was always meant to,” said Holt.
Holt is also ending the Oklahoma City lifting COVID-19 ‘state of emergency’ as mask mandate ends, which has been in place since March of 2020.
Vaccines have been available in Oklahoma for more than four months and are now more widely available than ever.
“As a direct result, new daily cases have declined 90% from the highs and hospitalizations have declined by a similar percentage,” said Holt.
OKC is averaging less than 100 new COVID-19 cases per day. Holt says as conditions improve, health leaders’ response is shifting from mitigating the virus to encouraging Oklahomans to get the vaccine.
“If you have not started your vaccination process, please do not waste this amazing opportunity that is being given to you. So many people around the globe would love to stand in your place…If you get sick with COVID-19 or worse you die all because you chose to not get vaccinated, that would really be a tragedy,” said Holt.
City leaders are still encouraging the use of masks in public, but they say it isn’t required to do so unless a private business makes the requirement.
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“Now, it’s be smart. If you walk into a situation where you don’t know if they’re vaccinated or not, put your mask on. We’re not telling you have to wear it all the time. Wear it when you need to.”
City leaders say in order to reach herd immunity, 70% of Oklahomans will need to be vaccinated.