OKC city council to decide on mask mandate Friday

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Friday, Oklahoma City officials are set to vote on a plan that would make face masks a requirement for residents in indoor public places.

OKC Mayor David Holt says it’s proven that wearing a mask indoors reduces the transmission of COVID-19. He says it’s time for residents in OKC to mask up.

“Cases are exponentially higher than they were back in our first peak,” said OKC Mayor David Holt.

That’s why the Mayor, posting on social media Wednesday, says he has teamed up with Councilmember Mark Stonecipher to introduce an ordinance that would require masks for residents when indoors in public places.

“Places that are inside, it’s been proven that that’s where the virus most likely spreads,” said Holt.

The Mayor says enforcement will be difficult but the move is important to keep the city open and economic recovery continuing.

“The most important thing here is we are trying to stay open, we are trying to let the economy- unemployment-employment continue its recovery. This is a common-sense way to stay on that path and not have to close the city down. 46 of the top 50 largest American cities have this requirement in place either from the state or the local level I think it’s probably time for us to stop being an outlier regard and set a different standard,” said Holt.

The OKC City Council will meet with health officials Thursday to review the plan. A vote is expected on Friday.

Holt and Stonecipher will obviously vote in favor but Councilman James Greiner issuing a statement saying,

“If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you don’t, don’t. It isn’t the government’s role to mandate it.”

Other council members are undecided.

“I’ve been flooded with emails and inbox messages for those who are in favor and a lot of folks that say don’t do it,” said Councilmember Nikki Nice.

The Ward 7 councilwoman says any mask mandate has questions that need to be answered.

“How do we make sure that our most vulnerable or those who do not have access to masks will be able to get one?” said Nice.

The Mayor reminding residents that restrictions put in place two weeks ago on bars restaurants and stadium style seating are still in place.

Holt says they anticipated the governor’s stance today of not putting in a statewide mask mandate, that’s why they are moving forward independently.

Councilman Mark Stonecipher tells News 4 the proposed ordinance would expire September 8th.

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