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OSDH's Impact of Mask Mandates results: 'benefits in morbidity, mortality'

Posted at 10:49 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 11:00:34-05

TULSA, Okla. — At least 29 cities in Oklahoma passed a mask mandate or advisory, eight of them are in Green Country.

Those are more than enough municipalities to allow the Oklahoma State Department of Health to calculate the impact of mask mandates. Dr. Jared Taylor and the rest of the OSDH team release weekly epidemiology reports, which include data on the impact of mask mandates.

“It is important to recognize that, while OSDH is doing all that we can to inform our policies, our guidance through data driven decision-making; we’re not a research institution,” Dr. Taylor said.

He added, OSDH examined 10 weeks and found mask benefits in terms of morbidity and mortality. There is a higher number of deceased records in non-mask mandated areas.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt is clear with his stance on a statewide mask mandate.

“The governor’s position on a statewide mask mandate is clear. He has repeatedly encouraged all Oklahomans to wear a mask but believes any decision regarding a mandate should be made on the local level.”
Baylee Lakey, Communications Director for Governor Kevin Stitt

Regardless, Dr. Taylor hopes Oklahomans remember one thing: “It’s not the mandate that protects people, it’s the wearing of masks,” he said.

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