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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt provided an update to the city’s coronavirus response Wednesday afternoon.

In response to the city’s stagnating numbers at a higher rate than ideal, bars and restaurants will have new requirements starting Friday and will last at least two weeks.

  1. All employees in restaurants and bars will be required to wear masks
  2. Bar capacities will lower by 50%
  3. Venues with theatre-style seating must stagger seating (such as weddings, churches, and funerals)

“It is not a mystery how we transmit this virus,” said Holt. “The most dangerous activity is simply having a conversation with another person.”

Holt asks all residents to wear a mask when out in public.

Holt also reminds residents that businesses have the right to require masks and OKC officials encourage them to do so.

“We will live with this virus for a long time. Likely years,” said Holt.

The mayor is requesting a meeting with Oklahoma City-County Health Department and city council to address the continued spread.

“We can’t sustain another spike on top of this one,” said Holt.

Oklahoma City has had 2,415 positive cases since March. 1,697 of those are considered recovered and 63 residents have died.

Both Holt and Oklahoma City County Health Department executive director Dr. Patrick McGough hammered home that wearing a mask is not political.

While the mayor said he won’t make wearing them mandatory to the general public, he urged that they be worn anytime people are in public with anyone who’s not family they live with.

“It is not a mystery how we transmit this virus,” Holt said. “The most dangerous activity is simply having a conversation with another person where tiny droplets of saliva are spread.”

He and Dr. McGough said they should even be worn at small gatherings at homes (another problem area) or in restaurants.

“As a customer, wear your mask to the table, then you can take it off,” Holt said. “Then when your server comes, maybe you put it back on to take your order, then you take it off again. Just use common sense.”

Starting this month, the mayor said he plans to stop employing emergency health proclamations, and instead adopt ordinances with city council and local health officials.