TULSA, Okla. — After nearly a year, Tulsans will now say goodbye to masks. However, there are still a few exceptions to the mandate expiring. You can learn more by clicking here.
It took Tulsa nine months before officially ending the mask mandate. It began July 15, 2020 when Tulsa’s City Council passed a city-wide ordinance just over four months after Oklahoma's first positive case on March 7. The ordinance mandating mask-wearing in public until at least November 30.
“I was worried it wouldn't pass. What turned that was when the hospitals came out and said we need this,” Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum said.
In the fall, cases spiked to our first all-time high with more than 2,100 cases on November 5. Oklahoma would soon double that number in December. Hospitals were overwhelmed with more than 1,500 patients across the state. The trend underscored the importance of social distancing and wearing a mask
On October 20, Governor Kevin Stitt introduced a tiered hospital surge plan to deal with the constant flow of sick patients. This came after months of doctors and nurses pleading with the public to take COVID-19 safety precautions seriously.
“This is not coming from a politician, this is coming from a physician that sees this every single day,” physician for Saint Anthony Shawnee, Dr. Carlos Cabrera said.
The extension of the mandate from November 30 to January 30 came as no surprise as cases peaked through the holiday season. Officials urged people not to gather.
“It would be absolutely devastating to learn a family member contracted the virus on Thanksgiving was not alive at Christmas,” Executive Director for the Tulsa Health Dept. Dr. Bruce Dart said.
On December 12, the first Oklahoma nurse received her first vaccine along with a ray of hope for all Oklahomans as more vaccines were distributed across the state.
As more and more people became vaccinated cases began to drastically come down. Health officials are optimistic for the future but are still urging the public to get vaccinated amid a nationwide hesitancy. To learn more about Tulsa’s latest vaccine pod, you can do that by clicking here.
- What to know as Tulsa's mask mandate expires this weekend
- DOWNLOAD the 2 Works for You app for alerts
- Former Mannford officer sentenced to life in prison, convicted of killing his police chief
- FOLLOW 2 Works for You on Facebook
- Zaven Collins selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the NFL Draft
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere --