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Oklahoma City Passes Mask Mandate, Effective Immediately

Oklahoma City Council members vote on an ordinance requiring the wearing of masks in public over Zoom videoconference on July 17, 2020.

Starting immediately, face masks must be worn in Oklahoma City.

On Friday evening, Oklahoma City Council voted 6-3 to adopt an ordinance that requires the use of face coverings in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. 

The council then voted 7-2 for an emergency clause that would make it effective immediately. Councilman Todd Stone, who voted against the measure, flipped his vote in favor of the emergency clause, which passed 7-2.

The ordinance requires face coverings to be worn:

  • by anyone aged 11 or older
  • in indoor places open to the public, including private property
  • over your nose and mouth

People exempt from the face-covering requirement include children under the age of 11, people of the same household exercising or playing sports and people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or with a developmental disability. People are also exempt while eating or drinking, while receiving dental services or while swimming.
Face coverings will also not be required in federal, state or county buildings or facilities, public or private schools (unless required by the school), at religious services where social distancing is observed and workplaces that don't have face-to-face interactions with the public.

If someone refuses to wear a mask, they will be asked to leave the public indoor space. If they refuse to do so, they will be subject to a fine of $9 for a first or second offense. The fine would rise to a maximum of $100 for third and subsequent offenses.

The emergency ordinance went into effect Friday evening when Mayor David Holt signed it. It will expire on September 8, unless the council takes further action.

"This ordinance also represents this community's best chance right now to protect our health care system from collapse," Holt said. "That is why it is endorsed by all of our city's major hospitals, the Oklahoma State Medical Association, virutally every health care entity in our city and the state, and most importantly, by the City-County Health Department we have created and charged to advise us in these matters."

TulsaNorman, Stillwater, Stilwell and Altus have all recently passed mask mandates. Enid voted against a mask mandate on Wednesday.


Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
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