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Tulsa businesses react to new mask mandate

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 19:43:00-04

TULSA, Okla. — In an effort to slow the recent uptick of COVID-19 in Tulsa County, Mayor G.T. Bynam announced all restaurant employees will be required to wear masks.

For the last few weeks, many local restaurant owners say that has been the new normal.

Andolini's Pizzeria Owner Mike Bausch said that's the only way he was going to reopen his doors.

“Our goal is making the safest most accommodating environment for our guests. So, that means having a safe environment," Bausch said. “It's not ideal, but we aren’t living in an ideal scenario right now."

For other restaurant owners like Chimera Owner Robert Stuart, masks, gloves, and strict social distancing is how he'll be operating for the foreseeable future.

“We never opened up the dining room. We have had a little bit of patio service and we continue curbside," Stuart said. "We are taking this very seriously and have been from the start."

Both Bausch and Stuart said that is why they were not surprised by Mayor Bynum's latest mandate he released in a press conference
on Thursday that stated, “all employees of restaurants and bars will be required to wear masks while at work."

“The mandate won’t really have an effect on us, because we are taking precautions on our own," Stuart said.

Despite any concerns of push back from some businesses, Baush and Stuart said the mandate should help businesses in the long run.

"This is a good move to keep our economy going, because it still allows us to function with these precautionary measures," Bausch said.

Mayor Bynam said the wholesale department will be in charge of monitoring the effectiveness and the impact of the executive order on the number of cases moving forward.

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