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Mask Mandate Passes In Edmond, But Won't Go Into Effect For A Month

Edmond City Council votes on a mask mandate on July 27, 2020.

On Monday evening, the City of Edmond passed a mask mandate by a vote of 3-2. But, it was one vote shy of passing as an emergency declaration, so it will not go into effect until August 26.

In casting one of the two votes against, Edmond Mayor Dan O'Neil said he wouldn't make it an emergency because he wanted time to make sure that the mandate is done right.

"I just sure hope that we're right on this thing and we're making the right choice, but gosh darn, I don't want to divide this community," O'Neil said.

The council will meet again next Monday, August 3 to discuss amending the ordinance.

As it stands now, the ordinance — which is similar to one passed by Oklahoma City two weeks ago — requires face coverings to be worn in indoor places open to the public.

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, medical services or while swimming or at the splash park.

Face coverings will also not be required in federal, state or county buildings or facilities, public or private schools (unless required by the school), and workplaces that don't have face-to-face interactions with the public.

If someone refuses to wear a mask, they may be subject to prosecution for criminal trespass, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct or similar offenses.

Currently, the ordinance would go into effect on August 26 and expire two weeks later on September 8.

Oklahoma City, TulsaNorman, Stillwater, Stilwell and Altus have all passed mask mandates. Enid voted against a mask mandate earlier in July.

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